Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir just made it into space exploration history.
Women are making history in various fields. Whether it is Science, Literature or History, we see the presence of numerous accomplished women whose contributions have led to various discoveries and milestones. And now, yet another event headed by women became part of history.
LIVE NOW: Tune in to watch the first #AllWomanSpacewalk in human history! 👩🏻🚀— NASA (@NASA) October 18, 2019
Starting at approximately 7:50am ET, @Astro_Christina & @Astro_Jessica venture into the vacuum of space to replace a failed power controller. Watch: https://t.co/2SIb9YXlRh
According to NPR, NASA held the first all-female spacewalk outside the International Space Station at 7:50 a.m. EDT.. Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir marked their names in history when they ventured out into the open space.
NASA informed that the two flight engineers were set on a mission to replace a faulty power controller, also known as a battery charge-discharge unit (BCDU). The faulty power controller has been in operation since 2000. The power controllers, which supply additional power to the station, failed in spite of the new lithium-ion batteries which were installed on the space station. However, they also confirmed that unit failure did not pose a threat to the station's operations, crew members, laboratory experiments or overall power supply.
LIVE: Experts discuss the 1st all-female spacewalk scheduled to take place on either Thurs., Oct. 17 or Fri., Oct 18. @Astro_Christina and @Astro_Jessica will venture outside the @Space_Station for a ~6.5 hour spacewalk for station maintenance.— NASA (@NASA) October 15, 2019
🔊 LISTEN: https://t.co/ZuxLDtRxxM pic.twitter.com/FdmTRASmlm
According to CBS, this event is extremely special as it is the first of its kind in 54 years. Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov carried out the first spacewalk ever that happened in 1965.
However, a woman stepped out into the vacuum years later. Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya was the first woman who did the walk in 1984 accompanied by a male cosmonaut. Later that year, NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to go for a shuttle spacewalk.
There have been 220 spacewalks at the International Space Station since December 1998. But according to NASA, only 14 have participated in spacewalks, and all were accompanied by men.
So, the all-female spacewalk is big step in space exploration history. "In the past, women haven't always been at the table, and it's wonderful to be contributing to the human spaceflight program at a time when all contributions are being accepted when everyone has a role, and that can lead in turn to an increased chance for success," said Koch in an interview before the walk. However, Meir said that she did not look into it based on gender. "It's just normal. We're part of the team. We're doing this work as an efficient team working together with everybody else," she said. "So it's really nice to see how far we've come."
Astronauts @AstroDrewMorgan and @Astro_Christina will suit up Friday morning for the second spacewalk in a series of five this month to upgrade the station's power systems. @NASA TV live coverage begins at 6:30am EDT. Read more...https://t.co/2IoMGJFDRk pic.twitter.com/OvoIwpAS0d— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) October 10, 2019
Meanwhile, NASA informed that the spacewalk was originally planned for March. However, the unavailability of spacesuitsled to its cancellation. Additionally, astronaut Anne McClain who was originally supposed to make the walk along with astronaut Christina Koch, was replaced by astronaut Nick Hague in March. NASA also informed that there were five more spacewalks to come in the months of November and December.