Two NASA astronauts made history when they successfully completed the first All Woman Spacewalk.
The task of Christina Koch and Jessica Meir was to replace a failed power control unit of the International Space Station.
In a tweet, NASA said, ”Today, history was made as @Astro_Jessica and @Astro_Christina successfully completed the first #AllWomanSpacewalk! For more than 7 hours, the duo worked in the vacuum of space to conduct @Space_Station maintenance.”
As NASA astronauts completed the job with wrenches, screwdrivers and power-grip tools, it marked the first time in a half-century of spacewalking that men weren’t part of the action.
Astronauts conducted the first all-female spacewalk at 7:38 a.m. ET on Friday.
Though astronauts and cosmonauts have done more than 200 spacewalks during the construction and maintenance of the International Space Station, only 15 women have ever been on a spacewalk, but always accompanied by men.
The space walk was originally scheduled to take place sic months ago, but it had to be postponed due to non-availability of correctly sized suits. In between, NASA sent another medium spacesuit to the station so that the walk could happen.
Koch, who is also set to complete the longest single spaceflight by a woman as she remains in orbit until February 2020, said gender milestones like the spacewalk were especially significant.“There are a lot of people who derive motivation from inspiring stories from people who look like them, and I think that it’s an important aspect of the story to tell,” she told a NASA briefing in Houston this month.
“What we’re doing now shows all the work in the decades prior from all the women that worked to get us where we are today,” Meir added. Koch, who was slated for the earlier spacewalk, made her fourth walk. But it was Meir’s first spacewalk.