NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir ventured outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk Friday morning, Oct. 18.
Their spacewalked marked the first time in 50 years of spacewalking that a woman floated out the door without a male crewmate, according to the Associated Press.
NASA leaders — along with women and others around the world — cheered Koch and Meir on. At the same time, many noted that this will hopefully become routine in the future.
“We’ve got qualified women running the control, running space centers, commanding the station, commanding spaceships and doing spacewalks,” America’s first woman spacewalker, Kathy Sullivan, told AP earlier this week.
Sullivan was delighted with Friday’s spacewalk. She said it’s good to finally have enough women in the astronaut corps and trained for spacewalking for this to happen.
NASA originally wanted to conduct an all-female spacewalk last spring but did not have enough medium-size suits ready to go.
According to AP, Koch and Meir were supposed to install more new batteries in a spacewalk next week but had to venture out three days earlier to deal with an equipment failure that occurred over the weekend. They need to replace an old battery charger for one of the three new batteries that was installed last week by Koch and Andrew Morgan.
It was the fourth spacewalk for Koch, who is seven months into an 11-month mission that will be the longest ever by a woman.
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