Science

NASA's first all-female spacewalk could happen this month

NASA's first all-female spacewalk could happen this month”

On October 21 Koch will participate in the first all-female spacewalk. McClain herself made the decision and the teams supported her, Koch said. Astronauts have been upgrading them since 2017 and are now more than halfway done.

"Wow, it is lovely", said Morgan ahead of schedule in the spacewalk, responding to the sun ascending as he looked off the side of the station at Earth underneath.

"Astronauts also were able to accomplish get-ahead tasks, including the removal of an additional nickel-hydrogen battery, originally scheduled for the second spacewalk".

Astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan have just returned to the ISS after changing over a pair of old batteries. At the moment the astronauts aboard need to do another four more spacewalks to complete the transition from the old batteries to the new.

On Sunday (6 October), it was announced that USA astronauts have kicked off the first of five spacewalks to replace old batteries at the International Space Station. The next five spacewalks will focus on repairs to the space station's Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, an ailing dark matter experiment.

While Koch, who holds a master's degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University, is a natural choice for the battery replacement mission, the operation will be the first spacewalk for Meir, a marine biologist.

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-15 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, September 25, 2019.

"You have the battery", confirmed Morgan.

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Meir said she does not think a lot about being one of two women on the space station.

During the spacewalks, Morgan and Parmitano will install a new set of pumps and replenish its liquid carbon dioxide coolant, a process that will be complex since the AMS was never created to be repaired in space.

Four more battery replacement spacewalks are now planned for this month. Aboard the International Space Station on Friday, the two answered questions on NASA TV about the assignment process.

Following the postponement, Koch configured the second suit herself and will now conduct three spacewalks in October - two with NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and with Jessica Meir.

Then five more US-Italian spacewalks will be conducted in November and December to fix a key science instrument.

Koch was supposed to do a spacewalk with another female crewmate in March.

Koch, who served as EV1 (or lead spacewalker) and wore the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit with red stripes now has now logged a total of 13 hours and 46 minutes on her two spacewalks. Space explorers and cosmonauts have now gone through 1,374 hours and 27 minutes, or 57.3 days, working outside the circling complex.



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