Oct 4, 2019 - Science

NASA's 1st all-female spacewalk planned for this month

Two astronauts floating on the International Space Station

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch on the ISS. Photo: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch are expected to make history as the first all-female team to perform a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station.

The big picture: The spacewalk, currently scheduled for October 21, will be focused on changing out batteries that power some of the station's solar arrays.

Yes, but: Spacewalks are notorious for their complexity, so it's still possible that Koch and Meir's walk could change or be cancelled if something unexpected happens between now and October 21.

Details: The spacewalk is 1 of 5 planned to swap out batteries, with 5 others planned for later in the year to repair an astrophysics instrument on the outside of the station.

  • The first spacewalk in the series is scheduled for Sunday. Koch and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan are expected to start the walk at 7:50 a.m. ET.

Background: The spacewalk comes after NASA canceled an all-female spacewalk in March due to spacesuit availability.

  • That particular issue shouldn't be a problem this time, however, with two spacesuits configured for use by the women.
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