NASA sets the stage for a women centric space age through an all-female spacewalk
US astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will create history by participating in an all-female spacewalk to replace a duff unit of the ISS.
Women have proved their worth in all walks of life and they will now carry out an all-women spacewalk. NASA planned this unique event originally in March but had to postpone it because on an ill-fitting spacesuit. It is now rescheduled for Friday and the two astronauts chosen are Christina Koch and Jessica Meir. Both are Americans and their task will be to replace an unserviceable equipment on the international space station (ISS). They will be at work for more than five hours and it will be a new experience for the duo. It will also be a confidence booster for the participants as well as other female astronauts.
Daily Mail UK reports that Christina Koch is the senior of the two. She would be setting a record of her own by completing the longest single spaceflight by a woman if she remains in orbit until February 2020.
She said –“gender milestones like the spacewalk were especially significant.” She was one of the astronauts identified for the earlier spacewalk.
Anyway, this will be her fourth walk and she will be the 14th woman to have walked in space. For her companion Jessica Meir, it will be her first. Until now, there have been more than 200 spacewalks from the ISS since its inception.
NASA’s first all-woman space walk will take place sooner than anticipated https://t.co/vpdVJO3igU— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) October 16, 2019
More opportunities for women in space
Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov can take credit for being the first man to go for a spacewalk in 1965.
Another Russian Svetlana Savitskaya was the first woman to do so. That was in July 1984. However, the American space agency has taken a positive lead in promoting women astronauts to encourage them to venture out of the confines of the space lab.
Daily Mail UK mentions about classes held for training female astronauts.
Their numbers are on the rise. Fifty percent of the 2013 batch of trainee astronauts were women and in 2017, out of 11 trainees, five were women. The all-female spacewalk should have happened in March but non-availability of the proper size of spacesuit forced the postponement. It seems the astronaut selected needed a medium spacesuit but only a large was available. It would have been risky with an associated element of risk.
Women centric space age is here
According to The Guardian, NASA has drawn up plans for the first ever all-female spacewalk. It could set the stage for a women centric space age. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine revealed that Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, who have been living in space since March and September respectively in the International Space Station, would conduct the spacewalk. Incidentally, while astronauts and cosmonauts have completed more than 200 spacewalks during the construction and maintenance of the sky lab, only 15 women have ever been on a spacewalk. That too, accompanied by men. The ISS is an example of the application of Artificial Intelligence and Renewable Energy. Right now, there are six people in the sky lab. They are the two women who will go for the spacewalk plus another astronaut from America, two members from Russia, and one from the ESA.