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NASA tries again with the first all-female spacewalk

NASA will launch the first all-female spacewalk on Friday after it canceled it earlier this year because it did not have two space suits of the correct size.

NASA astronauts

Christina Koch


Jessica Meir

is expected to replace a performance controller in front of the International Space Station that failed at the weekend's 221st Spacewalk at the weekend since December 1998.

A spacewalk with Ms. Koch and the NASA astronaut earlier this year

Anne McClain

It was planned to make the first all-female walk, but the plans were dropped when NASA announced that she did not have a space suit the size of Mrs. McClain available. Mrs. McClain's space mission ended this summer and she returned to Earth. In September, Ms. Meir reached the International Space Station and joined Ms. Koch as the only other woman on board. Ms. Meir will now be with Ms. Koch on a spacewalk, NASA said.

Koch and Ms. Meir talked about a video from the space station that was shown at a NASA media event and showed a preview of spacewalks with reporters. "We do not even think about it everyday, it's normal, we're part of the team, it's really nice to see how far we've come," said Ms. Meir about her upcoming milestone for women.

Koch, who arrived at the space station on March 1

4, is also well on her way to setting a record for a woman's longest single-space flight, currently scheduled to be in orbit for 328 days, dwarfing the former NASA astronaut

Peggy Whitson

Record of 288 days in the next year. The longest single space flight of a NASA astronaut took 340 days and was carried out by a former NASA astronaut

Scott Kelly.


What does this historic event mean for you or for women in your family? Join the following conversation.

According to NASA, a properly fitting spacesuit is the key to addressing the range of motion required to carry out space missions. Depending on the equipment, the Extravehicular Mobility Units weigh 350 to 500 pounds and provide air and temperature control, battery power, communication and protection against radiation and space debris.

On October 6, Mrs. other NASA astronauts

Andrew Morgan

completed the first of five space walks planned for this month – a seven-hour, one-minute operation to replace nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries on the outside of the International Space Station. On October 11, Ms. Koch and Mr. Morgan completed a six-hour and 45-minute spacewalk to continue working on the batteries.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain on a spacewalk on March 22


NASA / Reuters

wife. Koch and Ms. Meir were originally scheduled to do the walk on October 21 to update the batteries. Instead, they should replace a defective power supply. Failure of the unit "has no impact on crew safety or ongoing laboratory experiments," but, according to NASA, prevents a new lithium-ion battery installed earlier this month from providing additional power to the station.

More Space Walks Will Follow Repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a Cosmic Ray catcher looking for evidence of "dark matter" in the Universe.

Since its founding in 1958, NASA has selected 350 astronaut candidates, 57 of whom were women. Currently, there are 17 women out of the 38 active astronauts and 11 candidates in training. A total of 65 women have flown in space, including women from France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Iran, South Korea, Japan, China and Italy.

NASA plans to send the first woman to the moon by 2024. On Tuesday, the agency presented prototypes of the spacesuits for this mission. NASA spacesuit engineer

Kristine Davis

wore one of the suits, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine described the suits as "suitable for all our astronauts."

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