Monday, 14 October, 2019

NASA's all-female spacewalk to happen this month

In this image released Friday Oct. 4 2019 by NASA astronauts Christina Koch right and Jessica Meir pose on the International Space Station The 1st All-Female Spacewalk Is Back On, After Medium-Size Spacesuits Acquired
Elijah Vega | 07 October, 2019, 14:14

NASA had planned the first all-female spacewalk for International Women's Month in March.

The five spacewalks scheduled for November and December are aimed at repairing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. "All that's going to happen over the next two or three months".

NASA announced Friday that Meir and Christina Koch will take a spacewalk together on October 21, when they will install lithium-ion batteries that will improve the power supply at the International Space Station. Of the eight people in that class - chosen from more than 6,000 applicants - half were women, a first for NASA. Koch and Morgan will combine up again for an EVA booked for Friday (Oct. 11), trailed by spacewalks by Morgan and Meir on Oct. 16 and Meir and Koch on Oct. 21, the last the primary all-female EVA ever. American Eastern Time, lasting about seven hours and one minute, according to the USA space agency NASA.

This time, the suits are ready to support the spacewalks. They are set to install lithium-ion batteries to better serve the station's power supply.

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Meir also requires a medium HUT for her spacesuit, but that won't be a problem this time around, because NASA has had plenty of time to prep another medium suit since March.

Meir said everyone on the ISS is fully qualified to perform the upcoming spacewalks and several partner combinations could happen, but everyone will get to go. "It's really nice to see how far that we've come". The two also repositioned battery maneuvering tools and loosened the torque on bolts securing two nickel-hydrogen batteries in preparation for the next spacewalk. "We will all celebrate that", McArthur said.

"In the past, women haven't always been at the table", Koch said during a televised interview earlier this week. The final planned spacewalk in the series will be conducted by Meir and Expedition 61 commander Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency (ESA) on October 25. "The nice thing for us is we don't even think about it on a daily basis".

Those spacewalks will be done with a set of spacesuits known as Extravehicular Mobility Units, or EMUs. NASA plans to develop initial xEMU models, including one that will be flown to the station for a 2023 test and the two that will be used on the Artemis 3 lunar landing mission in 2024. "While she was working, she realized that her suit was too big to maneuver in comfortably". However, NASA couldn't execute the mission due to the lack of properly fitting spacesuits.

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