NASA makes history as two women astronauts embark on the FIRST EVER all-female spacewalk from the ISS (10 Pics)

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir left the International Space Station at 07:38am ET (12:38pm BST) today to begin the first all-female spacewalk ever.
Their job is to fix a broken part of the station's solar power network. 
The pair are currently moving to the space station's P6 truss at the far end to begin work, where they will be replacing a failed power controller. 
Expected to take more than five hours, the spacewalk is being streamed live by NASA and is a landmark moment for female astronauts and scientists.
An all-woman spacewalk had been planned for March but one of the astronauts was replaced by a man because her space suit didn't fit.  

LIVE: KOCH & MEIR MAKE FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK


LIVE
NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir exiting the International Space Station
NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir exiting the International Space Station
NASA astronaut Christina Koch
NASA astronaut Jessica Meir
NASA astronauts Christina Koch (L) and Jessica Meir. Koch and Meir will venture outside the International Space Station tomorrow to replace a power controller unit that failed over the weekend
The first American female spacewalker, who carried out her own mission 35 years ago, Kathy Sullivan, said she was delighted by today's milestone.  
And a NASA spokesperson said: 'Our achievements provide inspiration to students around the world, proving that hard work can lead you to great heights, and all students should be able to see themselves in those achievements.' 
Koch and Meir are replacing battery units called BCDUs after they failed to provide increased power to the ISS.
This failure has not significantly impacted the crew or its mission but needs to be repaired nonetheless. 
According to NASA, BCDUs regulate the charge for batteries that draw energy from the station's solar collectors to provide power as the station orbits at night.
Koch, who is also set to complete the longest single spaceflight by a woman as she remains in orbit until February 2020, said gender milestones like the spacewalk were especially significant.
Koch can be seen during today's space walk with a red band around her space suit leg
Koch can be seen during today's space walk with a red band around her space suit leg
Jessica Meir's helmet cam as she moved along the ISS to the work station
Jessica Meir's helmet cam as she moved along the ISS to the work station



NASA, astronauts Christina Koch, right, and, Jessica Meir pose for a photo on the International Space Station. NASA has moved up the first all-female spacewalk to Thursday because of a power system failure at the International Space Station. (NASA via AP)
NASA, astronauts Christina Koch, right, and, Jessica Meir pose for a photo on the International Space Station. NASA has moved up the first all-female spacewalk to Thursday because of a power system failure at the International Space Station. (NASA via AP)
NASA makes history as two women astronauts embark on the first ever all-female spacewalk from the ISS
NASA makes history as two women astronauts embark on the first ever all-female spacewalk from the ISS
The pair exited the International Space Station at 07:38am ET (12:38pm BST)
The pair exited the International Space Station at 07:38am ET (12:38pm BST)
'There are a lot of people who derive motivation from inspiring stories from people who look like them, and I think that it´s an important aspect of the story to tell,' she told a NASA briefing in Houston this month.
'What we´re doing now shows all the work in the decades prior from all the women that worked to get us where we are today,' Meir added.
Koch, who was slated for the earlier spacewalk, will be making her fourth walk and will become the 14th woman ever to walk in space. Today will mark Meir's first spacewalk. The ISS has seen more than 200 spacewalks since 1998.
Watchers took to Twitter to share their delight at the first all-female space walk in history taking place
Watchers took to Twitter to share their delight at the first all-female space walk in history taking place 
Others jokingly asked whether the women would be paid the same for the walk
Others jokingly asked whether the women would be paid the same for the walk
Christina H. Koch, left, and Meir greet each other after Meir's arrival on the International Space Station
Christina H. Koch, left, and Meir greet each other after Meir's arrival on the International Space Station
The planned all-woman spacewalk in March was called off because astronaut Ann McClain needed a medium spacesuit but only a large was available. 
Due to safety issues with the fit she did not participate and man took her place, making today the revised date for the landmark mission.
'We must never accept a risk that can instead be mitigated,' she said on Twitter after the event. 'Safety of the crew and execution of the mission come first.'
At the time the cancellation drew widespread criticism, including from former U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton and global activism group March for Science.



NASA astronauts Christina Koch (L) and Jessica Meir (R) in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, September 2019
NASA astronauts Christina Koch (L) and Jessica Meir (R) in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, September 2019
Woman completing spacewalks date back to July, 1984 when Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first to do so. 
Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov – who died just last week – conducted history's first spacewalk in 1965, four years before the US put men on the moon for the first time.
While today's event is a long time coming, NASA said it was not planned.
'It is something that was bound to happen eventually, and the increase in female astronauts in space for the past year is providing another window of opportunity,' a spokeswoman said.
'Fifty percent of the 2013 astronaut candidate class are women,' she noted, 'and of the 11 members of 2017 astronaut candidate class still in training, five are women.'

VALENTINA TERESHKOVA: THE FIRST WOMAN IN SPACE

Valentina Tereshkova (aged 26)
Valentina Tereshkova (aged 26)
Valentina Tereshkova, 82, became a national heroine at the age of 26 when she made the first female solo space flight.
The former textile worker completed her groundbreaking space mission in 1963 in the spaceship Vostok VI.
Ms Tereshkova was an amateur parachutist when she was recruited into a cosmonaut programme in Moscow.
She was trained with three other women as part of Kruschev's project for the first woman in space to be from the Soviet Union.
But she was the only woman to complete the mission. She was honored with the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
During her three-day mission, she circled the Earth 48 times and set a new record for time in space by completing the most orbits in the shortest recorded time.
Her flight was a major propaganda coup for the Soviet Union.
She was later given the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace in her role as a spokesperson for the Soviet Union. 
NASA makes history as two women astronauts embark on the FIRST EVER all-female spacewalk from the ISS (10 Pics) NASA makes history as two women astronauts embark on the FIRST EVER all-female spacewalk from the ISS (10 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:30 Rating: 5

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