ME astronaut Jessica Meir will take her 1st spacewalk Wednesday

Katie Ramirez
October 17, 2019

15 that the third in a series of battery replacement spacewalks that had been scheduled for October 16, featuring NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan, had been postponed after a device called a battery charge/discharge unit, or BCDU, failed on the station over the weekend. For those out of the loop, NASA and the astronauts aboard the ISS are upgrading the space station's power system through replacing old batteries with new ones, more on that here. The two had been scheduled to perform an October 21 spacewalk to replace batteries, the first all-female NASA spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan (left) and Christina Koch (right) are suited up in USA spacesuits before beginning a seven hour and one minute spacewalk to upgrade the station's large nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries, October 6, 2019.

The women will replace the broken component, rather than install new batteries, which was their original job.

Shireman said that NASA doesn't plan to immediately resume spacewalks to complete the battery replacement work, a task the agency expected to take five spacewalks.

Two NASA engineers strutted on a stage inside the agency's Washington, D.C. headquarters, donning the new spacesuits, modeling and doing squats and crunches in front of a crowd of students and reporters to reveal what the first zero-gravity space-wear under NASA's Artemis moon program would look like.

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"And there are some that are irreversible", said Rubio, who was a Trump rival for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. He answered reporters' questions as he met at the White House with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

NASA says the six station astronauts remain safe, despite the failure. The balky charger is 19 years old; the one that failed in the spring was nearly as old. This record-breaking spacewalk will be Koch's fourth and Meir's first.

Back on Earth, officials in Meir's hometown of Caribou have planned several events leading up to a downlink in which students from her former school will have an opportunity to speak with Meir while she's aboard the International Space Station. "They are the A-team!" tweeted astronaut Anne McClain, who would have gone spacewalking with Koch in March if not for the suit-sizing issue.

So far, 15 women have been a part of a spacewalk and on each occasion, there was a male astronaut accompanying them. Meir told NASA TV that gender is not necessarily something she thinks about on a daily basis. "That broadens our field of folks to hire from, so that means we're seeing higher percentages of women in the incoming astronaut classes, so that means we're seeing higher percentages of women onboard the International Space Station".

Koch joined the ISS in March as part of the station's Expedition 59 crew.

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