Women-only spacewalk rescheduled after smaller spacesuit arrives

Pablo Tucker
October 9, 2019

Before the month is over, NASA said a total of five spacewalks will complete the mission on October 16, October 21 and October 25.

The agency initially planned on conducting its first all-women spacewalk earlier this year in March but the plan was called off due to the lack of properly fitted spacesuits.

In the spacewalk back in March, McClain was replaced by a man because there was only one spacesuit available that could fit Koch and McClain.

The spacewalk did take place - it just wasn't all-female.

The six-member Expedition 61 has officially started as NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin along with UAE astronaut Hazza Ali AlMansoori undocked from the International Space Station on Thursday.

McClain, whose domestic dispute sparked what is believed to be the first criminal case in space, returned to Earth in June after orbiting the planet more than 3,000 times in 204 days. McClain herself made the decision and the teams supported her, Koch said.

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will take part in the giant leap for womankind on October 21 when they venture out of the International Space Station (ISS) to install new batteries.

The pair of astronauts began to replace the nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer and more powerful lithium-ion batteries.

"I think it's important because of the historical nature of what we're doing", Koch said in the video interview posted Friday on the International Space Station's Twitter page. "In the past, women haven't always been at the table, and it's wonderful to be contributing to the human space flight program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role, and that can lead in turn to an increased chance for success". Of the eight people in that class - chosen from more than 6,000 applicants - half were women, a first for NASA. She has the accusations and remains an active astronaut.

The upcoming spacewalks will upgrade the space station's power systems and will fix the alpha magnetic spectrometer.

She is now two-thirds through her 300-day mission. At the end of her mission in February 2020, she will set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

Meir arrived on the space station for her first mission this week. Only one is two women.

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