NASA to conduct historic spacewalk featuring all-female team

NASA Prepares for First Ever All Female Space Walk

NASA astronauts Anne McClain, left, and Christina H. Koch will take part in a spacewalk March 29.

The first-ever all-female spacewalk is scheduled for March 29, featuring astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch.

The all-female makeup of the team conducting the spacewalk obviously won't have any impact on the work being done, as all NASA astronauts are held to the exact same standards and are equally qualified to handle any scenario whether they're men or women. This will be part of Expedition 59 Crew planned out by the International Space Station (ISS). According to NASA, astronauts conduct spacewalks for a number of reasons: to carry out experiments in space, to test new equipment, or to fix satellites and spacecraft.

While having the first women-only spacewalk was exciting, the more common sentiment around NASA was that it is more important that it not be the only one, Schierholz said. It will be the second of three walks scheduled for Expedition 59's mission.

"The Lead Flight Director is Mary Lawrence, and Jackie Kagey (also a woman), is the lead EVA (spacewalk) flight controller", Schierholz said. Astronauts also conduct spacewalks to fix satellites or spacecraft that are already in space, instead of having them brought back to Earth to fix. It is not yet clear what tasks McClain and Koch will be performing during their spacewalk, which is expected to last around seven hours, according to Frazier.

In the almost 60 years of spaceflight, there have only been four times when expeditions included two female members trained for spacewalks.

McClain, Koch and Hague are all members of NASA's 2013 astronaut class, which was 50 percent women. McClain, a graduate of West Point, is an OH-58 helicopter pilot and graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.

The first ever spacewalk was carried out by Alexei Leonov in March 1965, and the first woman to take part in a spacewalk was Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya, who performed welding experiments outside the Salyut 7 space station on July 25, 1984.



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