NASA First All-Women Spacewalk Creates History

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NASA has created history yet again. The first all-women astronaut team completed the first spacewalk on October 18. The extravehicular activity (EVA) began at 7:38 EDT, a couple of minutes ahead of schedule, which was slated to begin at 7:50 EDT. The historic spacewalk was conducted by astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir.

NASA First All-Women Team

 

NASA All-Women Team

The NASA women astronauts - Koch and Meir have marked one giant leap for women! The NASA all-women comprised of veteran NASA astronaut and capsule communicator (CAPCOM) Stephanie Wilson on the ground. They were supported by fellow astronauts Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan in the International Space Station (ISS). The spacewalk officially began once the women astronauts switched the battery power on in their spacesuits.

The NASA all-women spacewalk is Meir's first spacewalk, whereas, it is Koch's fourth spacewalk. With her experience, Koch led the EVA (she can be identified by the red stripes on her spacesuit and life support backpack). Both Meir and Koch joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013, where their astronaut class was nicknamed as 'eight balls'. This batch has the highest percentage of women astronaut candidates so far.

NASA All-Women Spacewalk

The NASA all-women team conducted the 221st spacewalk for the space station's regular assembly and maintenance. Previously, an all-women astronaut team consisting of Koch and her fellow astronaut Anne McClain were supposed to conduct the spacewalk back in March. However, due to a limited number of spacesuits, NASA had to reschedule the spacewalk.

 

The first woman to spacewalk was cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya back in 1984. Since then, the number of women astronauts have been increasing slowly. From 1984, nearly 42 women have participated in spacewalks. However, until now, all the women-led spacewalks have a male astronaut to accompany them. Things are certainly changing now with more number of women signing up for space explorations.

NASA First All-Women Team

Moreover, NASA astronaut Koch is set to make history again in the coming months. She is on track to create a new record for the longest time continuously spent in space by a U.S. woman. Her upcoming record will break former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson's record of spending 288 days in space.

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