Science

Watch NASA's first ISS all-female spacewalk live online here

Watch NASA's first ISS all-female spacewalk live online here”

The International Space Station's two women are prepping for the first all-female spacewalk.

The device they're fixing "regulates the charge to the batteries that collect and distribute solar power" to the station, NASA explains; it had failed last weekend. The faulty unit is preventing a set of recently installed batteries from providing increased power. Instead, the all-female spacewalk seems to be the result of happenstance, thanks to the makeup of the crew members aboard the ISS, as well as the need to upgrade the space station's batteries to new, lithium-ion ones.

The historic spacewalk will be broadcast live on NASA.gov. Click NASA TV when you get there.

The first all-female spacewalk that was scheduled to occur next week has been moved up.

"Once there, the spacewalkers will take about five-and-a-half hours to replace the failed power regulator with a spare BCDU".

Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to complete a spacewalk, in October 1984, and there have been 220 spacewalks at the International Space Station since December 1998.

US astronauts Christina Koch (cook) and Jessica Meir (mere) will step out Friday to replace a broken battery charger.

NASA initially planned the spacewalk for Thursday, October 17.

NASA had previously planned a two-woman spacewalk for earlier this year, but it was canceled because it didn't have two spacesuits in the right size, The Wall Street Journal noted. The astronaut duo will be the first all-woman team to perform maintenance work on the space station. McClain, who returned to Earth in June after spending 204 days in space, tweeted words of support for Koch and Meir on Tuesday, calling their four-person crew "the A-team".

Meir flew to the International Space Station in late September for a six month mission, much of which is devoted to scientific research. "It's really nice to see how far we've come".



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