History made: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has reached a historic milestone. On Friday, the all-female spacewalk finally commenced as astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch ventured to the outer space.
The space mission will go down in history books as it marks the first-ever all-female spacewalk. Meir and Koch will be replacing a faulty battery unit on the International Space Station’s (ISS) exterior structure. The lithium-ion batteries they will be replacing were previously installed by Koch accompanied by a male astronaut on October 11.
Gearing up for Friday’s spacewalk to help the ground teams repair one of the battery channels with @Astro_Christina.
. . . first spacesuit selfie, check!✔️
— Jessica Meir (@Astro_Jessica) October 16, 2019
Meir and Koch’s mission is expected to last for five to six hours, as per BuzzFeed News. It marked the first time in over half a century that two women were assigned to walk space together. The pair hail from the same 2013 class of astronaut candidates which, according to NADA, was composed of 50% women.
A spokesperson for NASA, Brandi Dean said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that the pair had worked closely together in training. Dean added, “And then once they were both assigned for space station missions, their training continued to overlap. So they are very close by now.”
Meir’s first venture outside the ISS happened on September 25. In support of Meir, Koch Tweeted a photo of the launch captured from the station. In the caption, she wrote: “What it looks like from @Space_Station when your best friend achieves her lifelong dream to go to space.”
What it looks like from @Space_Station when your best friend achieves her lifelong dream to go to space. Caught the second stage in progress! We can’t wait to welcome you onboard, crew of Soyuz 61! pic.twitter.com/Ws7tInY58P
— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) September 25, 2019
Friday’s mission counts as the first time for Meir and the fourth time for Koch. Meir is the 15th woman to ever walk in space.