NASA's First All-Female Spacewalk Will Happen During Women's History Month

Rodiano Bonacci
Marzo 8, 2019

McClain will also join Nick Hague for a March 22 outing.

The first ever all-female spacewalk at the International Space Station is scheduled to take place on March 29, the tail-end of Women's History Month, NASA confirmed to multiple outlets on Wednesday, NASA confirmed on Wednesday.

"It definitely resonates with women around the agency that we're at this point", Nasa's Stephanie Schierholz said.

USA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, a member of the International Space Station expedition, attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Center in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, Feb. 20, 2019.

Spacewalks are held for a number of different reasons, according to NASA, including doing work outside a spacecraft, conducting science experiments and testing new equipment.

Less than 11 percent of the more than 500 people who have been to space have been female, and spacewalk teams have either been all-male or male-female.

NASA will broadcast the 7-hour spacewalk at 6:30 a.m. ET on March 29. She happens to be the Canadian Space Agency Controller and will be stationed at the Nasa's Johnson Space Centre in Houston. McClain, an aerospace engineer and a senior army aviator, has been on board the International Space Station since December 2018. Schedules and assignments for EVA missions can change, but it will be a spacewalk for the history books if all goes as planned. Astronauts also conduct spacewalks to fix satellites or spacecraft that are already in space, instead of having them brought back to Earth to fix.

NASA opened the space program to female applicants in 1978. The event comes 35 years after cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to participate in a spacewalk in 1984.

Both astronauts were part of NASA's 2013 astronaut class and these expeditions to space are their first. She pointed to the first African-American administrator, Charles Bolden, who said in 2016, "Being the first African American Administrator is all well and good, but I want to make sure I'm not the last".

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