After a delay, NASA is taking one giant leap with the first ever all-female spacewalk.
Astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch are about to make history Friday morning when they begin the first spacewalk to be conducted entirely by women, CNET reports. The spacewalk outside the International Space Station is expected to last between five and six hours, NASA says, and it’s being streamed live on NASA’s YouTube channel.
This step was expected to be taken back in March, which would have aligned with Women’s History Month, but it was canceled at the last minute — believe it or not, because NASA didn’t have the right size suit for one of the astronauts. History will finally be made Friday, albeit seven months later than expected.
“It’s wonderful to be contributing to the space program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role,” Koch told NASA.gov. “That can lead in turn to increased chance for success. There are a lot of people who derive motivation from inspiring stories of people who look like them, and I think it’s an important story to tell.”
NASA actually didn’t plan the all-female spacewalk on purpose, though, noting it was simply “bound to happen eventually because of the increasing number of female astronauts.” Meir will become only the 15th woman to spacewalk, with the first being Svetlana Savitskaya in 1984, CNN reports. Next up, NASA is looking to put the first woman on the moon by 2024. Brendan Morrow