Women's History Month started off with a bang as NASA announced a groundbreaking decision to feature an all-female spacewalk by the end of the month.
Female astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will make history on March 29th, as they will be the first women to embark on their mission outside of the International Space Station.
The ISS spacewalk will be a part of Expedition 59, which launches with Koch for her first flight to space on March 14th.
#Nasa sets date for first ever all-#female #spacewalk https://t.co/CP5Y1pEY2R— Eli Dror (@Eli Dror)1551822155.0
Joining McClain and Koch will be Jackie Kagey as the lead extravehicular activity (EVA), controller.
The EVA, or spacewalk, is any activity involving repair or maintenance work outside of a spacecraft or satellite beyond the Earth's appreciable atmosphere.
Back on terra firma, flight directors Mary Lawrence and Kristen Facciol will aid the team from NASA's Mission Control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, according to NBC News.
THIS is soooooo AWESOME - breaking more ground for women. @NASA is gearing up for it's first all female spacewalk!!… https://t.co/kYzAUH3ATk— Artemis Motion Pics (@Artemis Motion Pics)1551904727.0
Facciol was ecstatic about the history-making announcement and tweeted:
"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!!!!"
I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal an… https://t.co/T1dNt2PPW7— Kristen Facciol (@Kristen Facciol)1551471218.0
@kfacciol @AstroAnnimal @Astro_Christina Definitely looking forward to watching the first 'unmanned' spacewalk!— Sara Beck (@Sara Beck)1551515601.0
NASA spokeswoman Kathryn Hambleton told the Huffington Post about the new ISS spacewalk recruits but cautioned that changes could happen.
"The March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women," Hambleton said of the 7-hour-mission, adding that "assignments and schedules could always change."
"It was not orchestrated to be this way; these spacewalks were originally scheduled to take place in the fall."
The timing of the exciting announcement during the observance of Women's History Month is coincidental, and it was only a matter of time until women would embark on spacewalks that were historically conducted by male astronauts, with some assistance from women.
Things are looking upside down for McClain, who is currently on the ISS as part of Expedition 58. She launched to the space station via a Russian Soyuz rocket in December 2018.
Yes buddy, that’s your Mother Earth. Isn’t she beautiful? https://t.co/qY6KDbAIwb— Anne McClain (@Anne McClain)1551721438.0
Endgadget said that the American astronauts boarding the ISS this month will all be from NASA's 13th astronaut candidate class, 50% of which is comprised of women.
A decade ago, a female astronaut participating in a spacewalk would have been unimaginable.
Long overdue or not, the milestone is still cause to celebrate.
This is awesome! My mom was the 1st female police officer in my hometown more than 40 years ago. Ever since, I’ve b… https://t.co/fZA4zspkqF— Scott Kelly (@Scott Kelly)1551894583.0
@StationCDRKelly We demonstrated that female are resiliant! #WomenShapingtheFuture https://t.co/v1FwYaA2KK— Susanna Rosi (@Susanna Rosi)1551896368.0
@StationCDRKelly I grew up in the 60's wanting to be an astronaut. So proud of our ladies!— Debbie Moerlins (@Debbie Moerlins)1551910268.0
@StationCDRKelly #WomenStrong Amazing news !!! Finally !— ana carolina uribe (@ana carolina uribe)1551899566.0
Congratulations to the first all-female spacewalk heralding another "first" for women.