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NASA Has Scheduled the First-Ever All Female Spacewalk

NASA Has Scheduled the First-Ever All Female Spacewalk

Anne also will join Nick Hague for the March 22 spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch are both now residents of the International Space Station, and they'll be conducting the first all-female spacewalk later this month.

Koch is set to launch on March 14, as part of Expedition 59 and 60 that will launch from Russian Federation. According to NASA, astronauts conduct spacewalks for a number of reasons: to carry out experiments in space, to test new equipment, or to fix satellites and spacecraft. Apart from her, Sally Ride was the first American woman who flew in 1983 with the Challenger space shuttle.

NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz confirmed that the upcoming walk will be "the first with only women", but added that "it was not orchestrated to be this way". Astronauts also conduct spacewalks to fix satellites or spacecraft that are already in space, instead of having them brought back to Earth to fix.

In addition to Facciol, the spacewalk will have NASA's Mary Lawrence as its Lead Flight Director and Jackie Kagey as the EVA (spacewalk) flight controller, a NASA spokesperson told CNN.

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According to NASA, any time spent outside a vehicle while in space, including fixing equipment and conducting experiments, is considered a spacewalk.

Though women make up a growing number of NASA astronauts, women continue to be underrepresented in the space travel field.

During spacewalks, astronauts spend an extended period of time on the exterior of the International Space Station. She was followed almost 20 years later by the second woman in space, Svetlana Savitskaya, who also did a spacewalk two years later.

As CNN reports, Kristen Facciol will be providing radio support for the walk, and she was the one that first revealed that the all-female spacewalk was in the works.

Both were members of NASA's 2013 class of astronauts, where four of the eight members were female, and traveled to the ISS over the a year ago as part of expedition 58 and 59, respectively.


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