An all-female spacewalk will take place for the first time in history at the International Space Station. CNN received the confirmation from NASA. NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch as part of Expedition 59 will carry out the spacewalk on 29th of March. The Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol will support them on the ground as she will be on the console at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The announcement was tweeted by Facciol herself on first of March: “I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL-FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina and I can not contain my excitement!”
Stephanie Schierholz, NASA’s spokeswoman, told CNN in an emailed statement Wednesday that the spacewalk currently scheduled on 29th of March will be the first without men.
First All-Female Spacewalk In History To Take Place Soon
There are three planned spacewalks, and this is the second in the series. There will also be one on 22nd of March where Anne will join Nick Hague. However, we should keep in mind that the schedules and assignments are never stable.
Schierholtz added that these spacewalks were supposed to take place later in the fall and not this early. Some other women that will be part of the mission, but were not mentioned above are the lead EVA (spacewalk) flight controller Jackie Kagey, and the Lead Flight Director is Mary Lawrence.
According to the NASA website, the first all-female spacewalk in history will have a duration of seven hours.
Both Koch and McClain were in the same 2013 astronaut class which had a half made out of women only. This class was also put together from the second largest number of applications NASA ever has received. According to NASA, the most recent class of flight directors is the same as the one in 2013. Fifty percent are women.