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Nasa announces mission for first ever all-female spacewalk with Anne McClain and Christina Koch

Mission will be conducted by Expedition 59 crew at International Space Station

Andrew Buncombe
Tuesday 05 March 2019 20:00 GMT
SpaceX's Crew Dragon craft docks at the International Space Station

Nasa has announced that later this month it will carry out the first ever all-female space walk.

A Soviet cosmonaut, Svetlana Savitskaya, was the first woman to walk in space, doing so on July 25 1984.

But on March 29, Nasa astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will conduct a spacewalk as part of the Expedition 59 crew at the International Space Station (ISS).

They will be supported by Canadian Space Agency controller Kristen Facciol, who will be sitting at the console at Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Florida Today reported.

News that the all-woman crew was set to make history came in a tweet from Ms Facciol.

“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!!!!,” she wrote.

A spokesperson for NASA confirmed to The Independent the all-female space walk would be one of three such operations scheduled to be carried out once the ISS has a complement of six astronauts.

That is due to happen on 14 March, when a Russian Soyuz flight will transport cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, and NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Ms Koch to the station.

The spokesperson said it was “cool” to have an all-female walk, but it had “not been orchestrated to be this way”. The spokesperson said the space walks – taking place during female history month – would focus on the replacement of batteries.

Axios said the first American woman in space was Sally Ride, who flew with the space shuttle Challenger in 1983.

It said spacewalks were reasonably rare and tended to be carried out to address mechanical repairs to the ISS.

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