NASA has announced that it will attempt the first all-female spacewalk on October 21. The attempt follows one early this year that had to be abandoned due to equipment shortages.
As two Expedition 60 crew members departed the International Space Station (ISS) on October 3, the six-person Expedition 61 crew officially began their tenure. With the new crew came the announcement of the roster for a packed schedule of upcoming spacewalks.
Among the pairs scheduled to undertake work outside the orbiting laboratory, Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will be the only one to make history. The pair will conduct the first all-female spacewalk since Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space in 1984.
During their spacewalk, Kock and Meir will continue work on the installation of new lithium-ion batteries on the station’s Port-6 truss structure. The new batteries will replace two aging nickel-hydrogen batteries.
Prior to her spacewalk with Koch, Meir will venture out on the first EVA of her career with fellow NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan on October 16. She will then venture out into the cold vacuum of space with Koch for the first all-female spacewalk on October 21 followed by her third spacewalk in the span of 10 days on October 25.
Koch, an EVA veteran will also be a part of a set of three quickfire spacewalk missions. The first two will be with her crewmate Andrew Morgan on October 5 and October 11. Koch will then don her spacesuit for a third time to join Meir for their historic spacewalk.