Science

NASA Confirms First All-Female Spacewalk

NASA Confirms First All-Female Spacewalk”

NASA says that history's first all-female spacewalk is set to take place this week after it was cancelled back in March due to a lack of medium-sized spacesuits.

Christina and Jessica will be the first all-female team to do a spacewalk! The device is used to charge the batteries as part of the station's power supply.

In a change to their brief, the pair will replace a faulty battery charge-discharge unit, which is now preventing a new lithium-ion battery installed earlier this month from powering the ISS.

This will be the first time two women will go on a scheduled spacewalk together, since the ISS was launched nearly 20 years ago. She is the third Mainer, and first ME woman, to enter into outer space, the others being Christopher Cassidy, a York High School graduate who has completed six spacewalks and served as the nation's chief astronaut from 2013 to 2017, and Charles O. Hobaugh, a Bar Harbor native who has made three spaceflights.

Meir was set to conduct her first spacewalk Wednesday with astronaut Andrew Morgan to continue a series of spacewalks to upgrade the station's batteries. The all-female walk will be the fourth of five upcoming spacewalks involving battery work. The balky charger is 19 years old; the one that failed in the spring was nearly as old.

NASA said that the BCDU failure has not impacted station operations, safety of the crew, or the ongoing experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory, many in preparation for future human missions to the Moon and Mars.

"It (doing without the BCDU) is manageable, but not something we'd want to live with in the long run", Todd told reporters.

NASA originally planned an all-female spacewalk last spring, but had to cancel it because of a shortage of readily available medium-size suits.

Megan McArthur, an astronaut who now serves as a deputy chief of NASA's Astronaut Office, told reporters the fact that two female astronauts were chosen for the spacewalk had nothing to do with their gender.

'Very good that we have 4 expert spacewalkers on board to shoulder this tough task.

While all four - two men and two women - are equally trained for the fix job, Koch and Meir are the right choices given the future spacewalking workload, officials noted.

Just 15 women have ever conducted a spacewalk, and all of them did so with a male companion. When she was 5 years old, Meir drew a picture of herself as an astronaut and in her high school yearbook, she wrote that she wanted to go for a spacewalk.



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