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First all-female spacewalking duo to talk about historic job

Christina Koch, Jessica Meir became first all-women team to conduct spacewalk

Days after completing a battery replacement mission outside the International Space Station, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will talk about being the first all-women spacewalking team.

NASA will air a news conference Monday at noon on NASA TV and NASA.gov during which Koch and Meir will talk about their historic extra-vehicular activity or EVA.

Koch and Meir replaced a faulty battery charger on the space station's truss structure Friday during a six-hour spacewalk, restoring power capabilities for station operations and ongoing research and marking the first time in a half-century of spacewalking that men weren't part of the action.

During the spacewalk, the astronauts talk a call from President Donald Trump.

"What you do is incredible. You're very brave people," Trump told them.

Both astronauts insisted they were just doing their job after years of training and they were following the footsteps of many other women before them.

"We don't want to take too much credit because there have been many others -- female spacewalkers -- before us," Meir told the president. "This is just the first time that there have been two women outside at the same time ... For us, this is really just us doing our job."

Originally, the first all-female spacewalk was set to happen in March but NASA did not have enough medium-size suits ready at the time.

Meir, a marine biologist making her spacewalking debut, became the 228th person in the world to conduct a spacewalk and the 15th woman. It was the fourth spacewalk for Koch, an electrical engineer who is seven months into an 11-month mission that will be the longest ever by a woman. Both are members of NASA's Astronaut Class of 2013, the only one equally split between women and men.

Pairing up for a spacewalk was especially meaningful for Koch and Meir; they're close friends. They're also both former Girl Scouts.

While women have been spacewalking since 1984, it took two decades for women to catch up with men in the spacewalking arena.

The world's first spacewalker on March 18, 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, died last week. NASA astronaut Ed White became the first U.S. spacewalker less than three months after Leonov's feat. The first woman to spacewalk was Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya.

Friday's milestone spacewalk was the 421st for team Earth.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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