For first time spacewalk will be conducted by 2 female astronauts

Before this month, all previous spacewalks included at least one man

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist

NASA astronaut Anne McClain, left, working on the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Christina Koch, right, during training. The two astronauts will make up the first all-female spacewalking team in March. (Image: NASA)

This month there will be two spacewalks outside the International Space Station -- one of those will make history because for the first time both astronauts will be women.

Astronauts working on the International Space Station have completed 213 spacewalks since 1998. Americans conducted more than half of those. However, on March 29 NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain will become the first women to conduct a spacewalk without any men.

Koch and NASA astroanut Tyler “Nick” Hague, along with Roscomos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 14 for the space station.

The Expedition 60 crew will join McClain, cosmonaut Oleg Kononenkp and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol announced on Twitter March 1 she will be on console while McClain and Koch conduct the first all-female spacewalk.


“Holy smokes, my twitter exploded with excitement over women doing awesome things in space and I LOVE that. But here’s hoping this will be the norm one day!” Facciol tweeted after receiving hundreds of responses to her tweet.

According to NASA, McClain and Koch are scheduled to conduct their spacewalk during Expedition 59 on March 29.

Both Koch and McClain are part of the 2013 NASA astronaut class, the first class at the space agency to be half women and half men. Hague was also part of their history-making class.

McClain has been working on the space station since December and will conduct another spacewalk with Hague on March 22, according to NASA.

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