First All-Female Spacewalk
Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir successfully complete first all-female spacewalk on Friday October 19, 2019. This was the first all-female spacewalk outside of the International Space Station. The spacewalk officially began at 7:38 a.m. ET and lasted for seven hours and 17 minutes, ending at 2:55 p.m. ET.
Koch and Meir replaced a faulty battery charger on the International Space Station’s truss structure, restoring power capabilities for station operations and ongoing research. This was the fourth spacewalk for Koch and the first for Meir. Based on their position on the platform, the astronauts were able to see the Earth pass beneath their feet.
The first woman to conduct a spacewalk was Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya in 1984, followed closely by NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan.
“It’s really interesting for us,” Meir said. “This is just us doing our job. We’ve been training for six years, so it’s coming up here and doing our job. At the same time, we recognize that it is a historic achievement and we want to give credit to the women who came before us. We have followed in their footsteps to get where are today.”
“I think it’s important because of the historical nature of what we’re doing and that in the past, women haven’t always been at the table,” Koch said. “It’s wonderful to be contributing to human spaceflight at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role and that can lead, in turn, to increased chance for success.
“What we’re doing now shows all the work that went in for the decades prior, all of the women that worked to get us where we are today,” Meir added. “I think the nice thing for us is we don’t even really think about it on a daily basis, it’s just normal. We’re part of the team, we’re doing this work as an efficient team working together with everybody else, so it’s really nice to see how far that we’ve come.”