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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.

Go deeper

Biden's Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President-elect Biden has an aggressive Day One immigration agenda that relies heavily on executive actions to undo President Trump's crackdown.

Why it matters: It's not that easy. Trump issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration. Advocates are fired up. The Supreme Court could threaten the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and experts warn there could be another surge at the border.

10 hours ago - Sports

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucusColorado Governor and partner test positive.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday as crisis engulfs league, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.