By Mirror |
October 19th 2019 at 02:33:42 GMT +0300
NASA has made history today with the first all-female spacewalk, outside of the International Space Station.
Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are part of NASA’s Expedition 61 Flight, and began their spacewalk at 12:38 BST today, around 10 minutes ahead of schedule.
Together, the astronauts are working to replace a faulty power controller, known as a battery charge-discharge unit (BCDU).
NASA explained: “The BCDU regulates the charge to the batteries that collect and distribute solar power to the orbiting lab’s systems.
“The unit they are replacing failed to activate following the Oct. 11 installation of new lithium-ion batteries on the space station’s exterior structure.”
Ms Koch is crew member 1 (EV 1), and can be seen in the live-stream wearing a suit with red stripes as well as a helmet camera carrying the number 18.
Meanwhile, Ms Meir is crew member 2 (EV 2), and can be seen wearing a suit with no stripes, and will carry helmet camera number 11.
During the spacewalk, the astronauts are being assisted by Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and NASA’s Andrew Morgan.
This is the 221st spacewalk performed outside the International Space Station, but the first with an all-female crew.
While both Koch has performed three previous spacewalks, this is the first time that she is being accompanied by a female astronaut.
However, this isn’t the first time that NASA has attempted an all-female spacewalk.
Back in March, Ms Koch was scheduled to complete a spacewalk with astronaut Anne McClain, but the mission was cancelled due to a lack of suitable spacesuits.
Instead, the spacewalk went ahead with Ms Koch and her male colleague Nick Hague.
NASA said: “Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, March 29, Koch will wear it."
Many people have taken to Twitter to express their excitement at the all-female spacewalk.
In response to NASA's tweet about the historic moment, one user said: "This is beautiful, this is a great step forward in the healing of the wounds women from all generations have endured. Great Work NASA!"