NASA announced on Friday it will make history this month by sending two women on an all-female excursion beyond the International Space Station after postponing what would have been the initial all-female spacewalk at March. Jessica Meir and NASA astronauts Christina Koch , who currently live on the ISS, are set to carry out the spacewalk on October 21st, indicating the first time that only women have donned spacesuits to perform job.
Originally, Koch was slated to do a spacewalk with her then-crewmate,” Anne McClain, that may have been the first spacewalk at the annals of space travel. Her man colleague, Nick Hague would NASA announced that McClain would be dealing with Koch but replaces the week of this spacewalk. Space suit availability was cited by NASA as at fault; McClain realized she had a space-suit that was medium sized, but one was available at the time, and this you went to Koch.
This cancellation prompted an uproar, with lots of decrying the absence of matches sized about the ISS for women. That was the scenario, though. One was not configured and prepared to get spacewalking, although at the moment, there were just two medium-sized spacesuits on the station. And unlike piecing an ensemble together here on the planet, piecing a space suit to get a spacewalk with is. It entails piecing together all of the limbs into some chest cover and attaching a life support system. The astronauts did not have enough the time to reconfigure the 2nd suit, and among those spacesuits was available.
But this time NASA gets got the spacesuits ready. Still another space-suit was launched to the ISS this year, this 1 in a medium configuration, according to NASA’s program manager for the International Space Station, Kirk Shireman. That means that there are now two medium sized spacesuits prepped for the spacewalk.
NASA claims the choice to establish this 2nd suit that is medium sized had to complete with the range of spacewalks and which team members will likely probably soon be available at the months beforehand. “We don’t take action for a particular team member,” Shireman said during a media conference on Friday. “Actually, what we do is we look over the next two decades, and look at all the team members who’re [spacewalk] certified, and say,’Ok, what’s the sweet spot? ”’ Shireman noted that on the next handful of years, a lot of”medium suit people” is going to soon be heading into the ISS.
Meir’s potentially history-making spacewalk and koch is just one of 10 spacewalks which NASA has planned for other year. “We have 10 now coming up really fast, so it’s kind of a spacewalk bonanza,” Megan McArthur, NASA’s deputy chief astronaut, said during the media conference. The bureau set such an aggressive program in order to swap batteries out over the ISS with broader ones, which can be somewhat more powerful and capable than their predecessors. NASA astronauts started replacing these batteries in 2017, and they will finish up.
Astronauts will perform extra spacewalks to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a scientific tool built to look for dark thing and anti matter once each of the batteries have been swapped .
The first of this 10 spacewalks happened on Sunday, and another is scheduled for Friday, October 11th. As is true with all spacewalks, the assignments remain fluid, therefore it’s possible that things could change again, preventing Meir and Koch out of going out. McArthur noted that NASA attempts to come up with its spacewalk pairings depending on the experience of its crew members in addition to the schedules of outgoing and incoming astronauts to be sure men and women are ready as possible to do so job.
“we need to check out the arrival time of their team members,” McArthur said. “we would like to offer folks that have just arrived time and energy to get their space legs, if you’ll. You want to give folks which are about to depart time to organize to depart. And so we kind of protect those people around those cycles.” Koch won’t be departing the ISS before February 20 20, while Meir has been slated to keep coming back into Earth at the spring of next year.
For now, the spacewalk is really on, and the two astronauts are excited to perform this a massive first. “What we’re doing now shows each of the work which went in for centuries ahead, all of the women that worked for us where we are today,” Meir said during an interview on the space station.