Women’s History Month Will Soon Be Able To Include The First All-Female Spacewalk
Every March, women’s history month celebrates the power of women to accomplish anything. That’s why it’s more than fitting that NASA announced it is set to host the first all-female spacewalk during that time.
Female-led In Orbit And On The Ground
Scheduled to take place on March 29th, the spacewalk will include NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christine Koch. Their support on the ground will include the presence of another woman front and center, Kirsten Facciol, a Canadian Space Agency flight controller. Facciol had a hard time containing her excitement for the mission. Once she learned of the news she exuberantly Tweeted it to social media.
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
A number of other women will also hold prime positions on the launch team. The lead flight director is scheduled to be Mary Lawrence and the lead spacewalk controller will be Jackie Kagey.
The spacewalk, held at the international space station, is scheduled to last for about seven hours and will be the first spacewalk for both women. In fact, this launch is the first time in space for Koch. She left earth approximately fifteen days prior to the spacewalk to meet McClain who was already residing there.
There are no published details on what the spacewalk is expected to accomplish. Other spacewalks have been designed to reach a number of goals ranging from conducting experiments to repairing an area of the space station or other equipment.
Crew Development For Future Missions
This spacewalk isn’t only historic, it should help with the development of future space missions. As NASA and other space organizations work towards exploring life outside of our planet, agencies recognize the need for more extended space travel times. This is especially true for projects with ambitious goals such as landing on Mars.
It is believed that longer mission times will work better with crews that are a mix of male and female astronauts. Engaging more women in this work will ensure as large a candidate pool when selection time comes. Given this, the March 29th spacewalk is almost certain to be as a big step for women as it is for space exploration as a whole.
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