For the first time in history, NASA will be conducting a spacewalk with an all-female team. Anne McClain and Christina Koch will be walking outside of the space station on March 29th, according to CNN.
The team includes May Lawrence, the lead flight director, Jackie Kagey, the lead spacewalk flight controller, and Kristen Facciol, the flight controller of the Candian Space Agency, according to SlashGear.
As part of Expedition 59, McClain and Koch will be taking the 7-hour trip to make upgrades on the Internation Space Station’s batteries. This roughly marks the 35th anniversary of Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya making history as the first female in space in July 25th, 1984.
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!!!! #WomenInSTEM #WomenInEngineering #WomenInSpace
— Kristen Facciol (@kfacciol) March 1, 2019
NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz said that it was not planned to be this way. The trip was originally planned to take place in the fall.
Both McClain and Koch were a part of the 2013 graduating class – half of which were women. Half of the most recent class of flight directors were also women, according to CNN
:: UPDATE ::
The all-female spacewalk was canceled because NASA could not configure a spacesuit fast enough to stay on track with the assignment.
Instead, Koch will be joined by male colleague Nick Hague. The decision caused outrage amongst the public.
NASA didn't have enough spacesuits to fit an all women crew and they only needed 2. In the past spacewalks have been all men or man/woman. Women have been 11% of 500 astronauts in space. We have to stop assuming men are the default in scientific careers. https://t.co/53KeL3EFf5
— Amy Diehl, PhD (@amydiehl) March 26, 2019
— Amelia Womack 🏡 (@Amelia_Womack) March 26, 2019
If you can get a man to the moon, you can find enough spacesuits so two female astronauts can go on a spacewalk at the same time,https://t.co/zUIa1CxY9f
— David Beard (@dabeard) March 26, 2019
Also published on Medium.