Live Stream: Two Women Astronauts Are Making History By Doing The First-Ever Space Walk Today

Women Astronauts

The earliest successful human spaceflight happened 58 years ago when Yuri Gagarin circled around the globe in 1961. Humanity came miles since then in space exploration, having about 500 people who have visited space by now. But there’s a new historical event on the edge of happening as the first-ever all-female spacewalk is about to happen today!

These two women are ready to make history by completing the first ever all-female spacewalk

Image credits: NASA

The two women are scheduled to do the spacewalk at 7:50 a.m. E.T. on October 18th, 2019. They will be replacing a broken battery charge/discharge unit that failed to begin after a spacewalk on October 11. The defective unit is preventing a set of recently installed batteries from giving increased power, so it must be changed before proceeding to a series of spacewalks to install new batteries.

It will be the fourth spacewalk for US astronaut, Christina Koch

Image credits: NASA

Koch, whose childhood dream was to become an astronaut, began her academic career at North Carolina State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. She graduated from the NASA Academy program at Goddard Space Flight Center in 2001. While she’s done most of her work in space science instrument development and remote scientific engineering fields, she also spent 3.5 years traveling the Arctic and Antarctic regions. She described this time as challenging mentally and physically.

And the first spacewalk for Swedish-American-Israeli NASA astronaut, Jessica Meir

Image credits: NASA

When asked what inspired her to become an astronaut, Jessica Meir recalls it could have been the Space Shuttle missions on television she watched as a child. She also adds that “It might have had something to do with the fact that the stars shone so brightly in rural Maine”. She holds a Master of Space Studies degree and a Ph.D. in marine biology. She’s a Brown University alum and has done some work at the Harvard Medical School as well. Meir has been on board the ISS since September 25, 2019, and due to holding a double American and Swedish citizenship, she is also the first Swedish woman in space.

This event will enter history after the previous failed attempt to have an all-female spacewalk in the spring of 2019

 

Image credits: Astro_Jessica

Women started conquering space 35 years ago. The first woman to ever do a spacewalk was Russian Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya in July of 1984. She was followed by a NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan in October 1984. During these 35 years, 12 U.S. women completed 40 different spacewalks.

Which had to be called off because of spacesuit trouble

Image credits: Astro_Jessica

If you are thinking what’s the difference between an astronaut and a cosmonaut, cosmonauts are people who are trained and certified to work in space by the Russian Space Agency and astronauts are those who were trained and certified for space work by NASA, ESA, CSA or JAXA.

Luckily enough, NASA provided enough medium-size spacesuits to finally make it possible

Image credits: Intl. Space Station

While it may seem there’s no big difference between the two terms, as essentially all the people get similar training, ultimately the separation of terms is one of respect. The Russians have a long history of spaceflight, as they were the first to put a man into space (Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is the first human ever to journey into outer space) and to this day holds the record for the longest time in space for an individual. Every cosmonaut that’s rewarded with this title gets to take on a mantle once worn by Yuri Gagarin himself.

At 7:50 AM ET time, Koch and Meir will leave the International Space Station

Image credits: Astro_Jessica

Even though approximately 500 people have been to space already, only 10 percent of this number are women. Most of the spacewalks that happened before had both men and women participating until NASA scheduled the first-ever all-female spacewalk earlier this year. Sadly, it didn’t come to happen due to spacesuit troubles.

The purpose of this spacewalk is to replace a failed power controller

Image credits: Astro_Christina

Christina Koch was programmed to do the all-female spacewalk in the spring as well. Sadly, it never occurred because there was only one medium-size spacesuit in the ISS ready for use at the moment, so NASA chose to postpone the long-overdue event of having an all-female spacewalk.

The spacewalkers will be assisted by Commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and NASA Flight Engineer, Andrew Morgan

Image credits: Intl. Space Station

You can follow the historical event on both Koch and Meir’s Twitter, as well as NASA’s or you can tune in to NASA TV on YouTube to watch it live.

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