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NASA astronaut Scott Kelly works outside of the ISS during a spacewalk in 2015. Photo: NASA via Getty Images

The first-ever all-female spacewalk is scheduled to take place on March 29 and will feature astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch, NASA confirmed Tuesday. The two astronauts are going to be supported on the ground by flight director Mary Lawrence and Kristen Facciol serving as part of the flight control team, who will be located at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The big picture: The first American woman in space was Sally Ride, who flew with the space shuttle Challenger in 1983. However, spacewalks are relatively rare events, primarily occurring to make mechanical repairs to the International Space Station. The odds have therefore favored male dominated or male-female spacewalks, based on the composition of most ISS flight crews.

Details: According to NASA, all three NASA astronauts who will be aboard the ISS at the end of the month are from the 2013 astronaut class, which was 50% women, as was the most recent class of flight directors.

  • A NASA spokesperson who confirmed the historical significance of the planned spacewalk said it was "not orchestrated to be this way."

Go deeper

33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate retirements could attract GOP troublemakers

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

Congressional diversity growing - slowly

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

Staff for retiring Senate Republicans a K Street prize

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The retirements of high-profile Senate Republicans mean a lot of experienced staffers will soon be seeking new jobs, and Washington lobbying and public affairs firms are eyeing a potential glut of top-notch talent.

Why it matters: Roy Blunt is the fifth Republican dealmaker in the Senate to announce his retirement next year. Staffers left behind who can navigate the upper chamber of Congress will be gold for the city’s influence industry.