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NASA units 1st all-female spacewalk after swimsuit flap in spring

The primary all-female spacewalk is again on, six months after a suit-sizing flap led to an embarrassing cancellation.

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NASA introduced Friday that the Worldwide Area Station’s two ladies will pair up for a spacewalk later this month. Astronauts Christina Koch and the newly arrived Jessica Meir will enterprise out Oct. 21 to plug in new, upgraded batteries for the solar energy system.

Will probably be the fourth of 5 spacewalks for battery work. The primary is Sunday; Koch will exit with Andrew Morgan.

Koch was alleged to do a spacewalk with one other feminine crewmate in March. However NASA needed to scrap the plan just some days prematurely as a result of there wasn’t sufficient time to get a second medium-size spacesuit prepared. The second medium was put collectively on board in June.

NASA’s deputy chief astronaut Megan McArthur advised reporters the all-female spacewalk can be a milestone. However she famous that girls are so built-in in any respect ranges at NASA now that they do not are likely to dwell on gender.

“I am certain that they will sit again and replicate on it, as all of us will. We’ll all have a good time that,” McArthur stated.

Koch and Meir, a marine biologist who arrived on the orbiting lab final week, are each members of NASA’s Astronaut Class of 2013, the primary and just one with a fair break up between women and men. They’re additionally each making their first spaceflights.

Koch, {an electrical} engineer, is greater than 200 days into an roughly 300-day mission, which is able to set a report for the longest single spaceflight by a girl.

“Up to now, ladies have not at all times been on the desk,” Koch stated throughout a televised interview earlier this week. “And it is great to be contributing to the human spaceflight program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everybody has a job, and that may lead, in flip, to elevated probability for fulfillment.”

Because the world’s first spacewalk in 1965, solely 14 ladies have accomplished them, versus 213 males, in line with NASA.

Anticipate extra ladies spacewalking collectively on the horizon.

“It seems that over the subsequent couple years, we’re having a whole lot of medium swimsuit folks fly,” stated NASA’s area station program supervisor, Kirk Shireman.

Koch will function the lead spacewalker for Sunday’s tour with Morgan, her U.S. male crewmate. There are 11 spacewalks developing within the subsequent few months — 10 U.S. and one Russian. Just one is 2 ladies.

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The Related Press Well being and Science Division receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Division of Science Training. The AP is solely answerable for all content material.

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This story has been corrected to say Meir arrived on the orbiting lab final week.


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