NASA astronauts set for first-ever all female spacewalk


NASA will be conducting the first all-female spacewalk at the International Space Station on March 29. It is not yet clear what tasks McClain and Koch will be performing during their spacewalk, which is expected to last around seven hours, according to Frazier.

Space agency spokesperson Stephanie Schierholz told CNN, "It was not orchestrated to be this way; these spacewalks were originally scheduled to take place in the fall".

"Of course, assignments and schedules could always change", Scheirholz said.

Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol dropped the news on Twitter, saying she will be on console providing support for the spacewalk. NASA says spacewalks are conducted for repairs, testing equipment and conducting experiments. This will be the first spacewalk for both McClain and Koch, and they will replace batteries installed last summer. This will be the first-ever spacewalk with all-female spacewalkers. They will be travelling in the Soyuz MS-12 spaceflight, along with fellow astronaut Tyler "Nick" Hague.

Koch and McClain are no strangers to each other.

NASA opened the space program to female applicants in 1978.

Koch and McClain both graduated from the 2013 class at NASA which consisted of half women and half men. The first all-female spacewalk will be held outside the International Space Station on March 29th.

A routine outing scheduled for March 29, and the first of three planned for this particular series, is special for reasons beyond the mission itself - it's the first ever all-female spacewalk.

Koch, meanwhile, has an extensive background in remote scientific field engineering and development of space science instrument.

Houston, we have history in the making.

McClain graduated from Gonzaga Prep in 1997 and spent a year in the ROTC program at Gonzaga University before attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where she earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical and aeronautical engineering.

Fifty-five years after the first female Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was launched into space, gender diversity has travelled at a snail's pace in the male dominated industry.