First ever all-female spacewalk to take place this month

Pablo Tucker
March 8, 2019

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

Astronauts Christina Koch and Ann McClain will walk outside the International Space Station (ISS) as members of Expedition 59, on a mission to replace batteries installed last summer.

So it's just a coincidence that this momentous occasion transpire at the end of Women's History Month. McClain is on the ISS right now, while Koch will head to space on March 14 to prepare for the mission.

There have been 213 spacewalks at the ISS since 1998 for the purposes of maintenance, repairs, testing of new equipment or science experiments, according to Nasa.

Just in time for International Women's Day, NASA announced Wednesday that it will be conducting the first-ever, all-female spacewalk, CNN reports. "It is the second in a series of three planned spacewalks".

Earlier this month, Kristen Facciol, the lead flight controller, tweeted her excitement about supporting the first all-female spacewalk. It is not yet clear what tasks McClain and Koch will be performing during their spacewalk, which is expected to last around seven hours, according to Frazier.

'As now scheduled, the March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women, ' NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz told CNN.

A spacewalk, also known as "extravehicular activity" (EVA), is a broad term that applies to any time an astronaut exits a vehicle while in space.

The pair, along with Hague, were members of NASA's 2013 astronaut class, which consisted of 50 percent women.

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

In the almost 60 years of spaceflight, there have only been four times when expeditions included two female members trained for spacewalks.

The expedition is taking place 35 years after Soviet astronaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to participate in a spacewalk on July 25th, 1984. McClain, a graduate of West Point, is an OH-58 helicopter pilot and graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River.

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