As per reports, the first all-female spacewalk is on again, six months after a suit-sizing flap resulted in embarrassing cancellation. NASA had announced October 4 that the International Space Station's two women will join hands together for a spacewalk later this month. Astronauts Christina Koch and new guest Jessica Meir shall venture out on October 21 to plug in new upgraded batteries for the solar power system. It shall be the fourth of five spacewalks for battery replacement work.
All hands on deck! Suited up this week in preparation for 5 spacewalks in a row to upgrade the @Space_Station solar array batteries. Work begins on Sunday! Watch the spacewalk live at https://t.co/zCjhcX2LD1 pic.twitter.com/VQppdAhGba— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) October 4, 2019
Reports suggest that first space-walk is October 6 in which Koch shall go out with Andrew Morgan, Koch was earlier scheduled to a spacewalk with another female crewmate in March this year but NASA had to reject the plan a few days ago because there was not enough time to ger a second-medium sized suit ready. The second medium was put together on board in June. NASA's deputy chief astronaut Megan McArthur reportedly said that all-female spacewalk will be a milestone. But NASA's deputy said that women were so integrated at all levels at NASA now that they do not focus on gender.
"I'm sure that they'll sit back and reflect on it, as we all will. We will all celebrate that," McArthur said. Koch and Meir, a marine biologist who arrived at the orbiting lab last week, are both members of NASA's Astronaut Class of 2013, the first and only one with an even split between men and women.
They're also both making their first spaceflights. Koch, an electrical engineer, is more than 200 days into an approximately 300-day mission, which will set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman. "In the past, women haven't always been at the table," Koch said during a televised interview earlier this week.
According to reports, NASA has said since the first spacewalk in 1965 only 14 women have done them against the figure of 213 for men. NASA's space station program manager Kirk Shireman has said that over the course of next couple years, we are having a lot of medium suit people to fly. Astronaut Koch will lead spacewalking for Sunday's excursion with Morgan who is her male crewmate. There are around 11 spacewalks coming up in the next few months 10 US and one Russian. Only one is two women.
(With inputs from AP)