NASA Will Host the First All-Female Spacewalk in History This Month

The mission will be helmed by NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch

Photo: STR/AFP/Getty

Just in time for Women’s History Month, NASA is holding the first all-female spacewalk.

Later this month, astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will venture outside the International Space Station, being assisted by Kristen Facciol of the Canadian Space Agency who will provide ground support from the Johnson Space Center in Houston, accord to CNN. The event comes 35 years after cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to participate in a spacewalk in 1984.

“As currently scheduled, the March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women,” NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz told the news outlet. “It is the second in a series of three planned spacewalks. Anne also will join Nick Hague for the March 22 spacewalk. And, of course, assignments and schedules could always change.”

“It was not orchestrated to be this way; these spacewalks were originally scheduled to take place in the fall,” Schierholz continued. “In addition to the two female spacewalkers, the Lead Flight Director is Mary Lawrence, and Jackie Kagey (also a woman), is the lead EVA (spacewalk) flight controller.”

McClain and Koch will be replacing batteries that were installed last year, according to Gizmodo.

Facciol was filled with emotion when finding out she would be a part of the historic event from the ground.

“I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina,” she wrote on Twitter. “And I can not contain my excitement!”

After the news became public, McClain posted a view of Earth from space to her Twitter page with the caption, “the dawn of a new era in human spaceflight.”

She has also posted many pictures from space showing her preparation for the walk.

As CNN reported, McClain and Koch both became astronauts in 2013, when more than 6,100 people applied for the job. McClain is on the ISS right now, while Koch will head to space on March 14 to prepare for the mission.

NASA will broadcast the 7-hour spacewalk at 6:30 a.m. ET on March 29.

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