Published: Fri, March 08, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

2 astronauts are scheduled for the 1st all-female spacewalk in history

2 astronauts are scheduled for the 1st all-female spacewalk in history

"As now scheduled, the March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women", NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz told CNN in an emailed statement Wednesday.

History will be made later this month when Nasa carries out the first ever all-female spacewalk on March 29.

Less than 11% of the more than 500 people who have been to space are women, the Guardian reported.

Astronauts Christina Koch and Ann McClain will walk outside the International Space Station (ISS) as members of Expedition 59, on a mission to replace batteries installed last summer. Schedules and assignments for EVA missions can change, but it will be a spacewalk for the history books if all goes as planned. She's due to take part in another spacewalk on March 22, alongside astronaut Nick Hague.

'It was not orchestrated to be this way; these spacewalks were originally scheduled to take place in the fall, ' Schierholz added.


USA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, a member of the International Space Station expedition, attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Center in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, Feb. 20, 2019.

Apart from her, Mary Lawrence will also serve as a vital part of the flight control group.

NASA Flight Controller Kristen Facciol sparked worldwide excitement at the beginning of this month when she tweeted her elation at being assigned to assist the spacewalk from the ground.

Both McClain and Koch were part of the 2013 astronaut class, half of which were women, and came from the second largest number of applications NASA ever has received - more than 6,100. The spacewalk will last around seven hours, according to NASA's website. NASA says spacewalks are conducted for repairs, testing equipment and conducting experiments. McClain, an aerospace engineer and a senior army aviator, has been on board the International Space Station since December 2018. Astronauts also conduct spacewalks to fix satellites or spacecraft that are already in space, instead of having them brought back to Earth to fix.

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