Everything NASA has planned as its sets a new record for spacewalks

09 Octobre, 2019, 03:22 | Auteur: Therese Cote

After the first all-female spacewalk was scrapped in March, NASA has now scheduled another attempt with astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir for October 21.

This unusual run of spacewalks will feature the first all-female spacewalk - by Koch and Jessica Meir - later this month.

NASA said: "Space station crew members have conducted 219 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory". Astronauts have been working on the upgrade since 2017 and now over half way through the job.

The 400-pound (180-kilogram) batteries half the size of a refrigerator are part of the space station's solar power network. The first two will be with her crewmate Andrew Morgan on October 5 and October 11.

The batteries are so bulky that they block the astronauts' view of each other, so they rely on spoken exchanges to coordinate their efforts during each seven-hour spacewalk. A medium was sent up to the station in June.

During an interview on NASA TV, Koch and McClain were asked how they felt about their accomplishments being qualified by their gender. "I hope that me being up here and giving my best every day is a way for me to say thank you to people like her, who not only paved the way through their examples but actively reached out to make sure we could be successful". "We will all celebrate that", McArthur said. They are also doing their first spaceflights.

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Koch, who has been in space since March, is scheduled to remain at the space station until February - and her 328 days in space would set a record for the longest spaceflight by a woman. "And that in the past, women haven't always been at the table". "And it's wonderful to be contributing to the human spaceflight program at a time when all contributions are being accepted".

NASA has conducted over 200 spacewalks around the ISS but only 15 of them ever included a women.

There are also five more spacewalks happening in December and November conducted by the USA in collaboration with Italy.

"It turns out that over the next couple years, we're having a lot of medium suit people fly", said NASA's space station program manager, Kirk Shireman.

Expedition 61 Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan on Sunday.

NASA is planning to wrap up the five battery spacewalks this month, followed by a Russian spacewalk. Only one is two women.

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