The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is looking to make history in the month of March as they are preparing to send an all-female crew on a spacewalk.
“On July 25, 1984, cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space. Now, almost 35 years later, history will once again be made as the first all-female spacewalk is scheduled to take place March 29,” USA Today reports.
According to the report, the historic NASA initiative will include American astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch. Canadian Space Agency flight controller, Kristen Facciol, will assist the Expedition 59 crew to reach the International Space Station.
Facciol announced the first all-female spacewalk on her Twitter page where she said: “I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina and I can not contain my excitement!!!!”
Here’s more, from Florida Today:
Since 1998, there have been 213 spacewalks at the space station. The U.S. has seen 160 spacewalks in U.S. spacesuits, while Russia has had 53 spacewalks in Russian spacesuits.
According to NASA, spacewalks allow astronauts to work on the outside of their spacecraft while in space, conduct science experiments as well as test out any new equipment. Spacewalks outside of the space station typically last anywhere from five to eight hours, but it’s currently unknown how long this spacewalk will be.
McClain and Koch were selected to be NASA astronauts in 2013. McClain is currently part of the Expedition 58 crew that launched back in December 2018 and will also serve on Expedition 59.
Koch meanwhile, will serve as a flight engineer for Expedition 59 and 60, the former of which is scheduled to launch on March 14.
One week before her historic trip on the 29th, USA Today reports McClain will be conducting another spacewalk with NASA astronaut Tyler Hague. This trip is scheduled for March 22.
Here’s even more, from Axios:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
The big picture: The first American woman in space was Sally Ride, who flew with the space shuttle Challenger in 1983. However, spacewalks are relatively rare events, primarily occurring to make mechanical repairs to the International Space Station. The odds have therefore favored male dominated or male-female spacewalks, based on the composition of most ISS flight crews.