NASA Schedules Its First All-Female Spacewalk

Katie Ramirez
March 8, 2019

Nasa has confirmed that two astronauts will make history on March 29 as the first female duo to take part in a spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will be making the historic Expedition 59 on the International Space Station (ISS) later this month on March 29th.

"It definitely resonates with women around the agency that we're at this point", Nasa's Stephanie Schierholz said.

40-year-old Koch will be taking her first ever spaceflight on March 14th so she can join her crew on the ISS for the expedition.

There have been 213 space walks at the ISS since 1998 for the purposes of maintenance, repairs, testing of new equipment or science experiments, according to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA celebrates the accomplishments of the many highly qualified women who fill its ranks, and a couple of them are about to perform a truly history spacewalk.

A NASA spokeswoman told CNN Wednesday, "As now scheduled, the March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women".

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Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space in 1963 - just two years after the first man.

"The Lead Flight Director is Mary Lawrence, and Jackie Kagey (also a woman), is the lead EVA (spacewalk) flight controller", Schierholz said.

Nasa astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will follow in the footsteps of Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya, the first woman to walk in space nearly 35 years ago. She was followed almost 20 years later by the second woman in space, Svetlana Savitskaya, who also did a spacewalk two years later.

The objective of the spacewalk is to upgrade batteries at the space station, which were delivered last summer. The upcoming spacewalk is expected to last around seven hours, but that can change depending on how things unfold once the astronauts are out in space.

In the almost 60 years of spaceflight, there have only been four times when expeditions included two female members trained for spacewalks.

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