Watch NASA's first all-female spacewalk live online

Saturday, 19 Oct, 2019

"The duo will set their suits to battery power on Friday at 7:50 a.m., when the spacewalk officially starts, and exit the Quest airlock". Then, Koch received the word.

It's NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson and she's acting as CapCom, or Capsule Communication, at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The spacewalk is expected to take more than 5 hours.

"Christina and Jessica's spacewalk will be the 221st in support of International Space Station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades", Schierholz said. All the while, they worked to keep their safety tethers from becoming twisted as they moved around.

NASA officials said the power controller failure is a repeat of a similar problem that occurred in April, so the astronauts need to retrieve the faulty battery charge/discharge unit (BCDU) and send it back to Earth for inspection. Rather than incur the additional hours of labor and risk of prepping another spacesuit before the mission, the team made a decision to switch out the astronauts. She said it's good to finally have enough women in the astronaut corps and trained for spacewalking for this to happen.

The March spacewalk was called off because astronaut Ann McClain needed a medium spacesuit but only a large was available. "This is just the first time there have been two women outside at the same time". Koch and Meir were selected for the astronaut class of 2013.

"There are a lot of people who derive motivation from inspiring stories from people who look like them, and I think that it's an important aspect of the story to tell", she told a NASA briefing in Houston this month. She is set to remain on the station until February 2020, which will make her time on the station the longest single spaceflight by a woman. Meanwhile, Meir's won't have any stripes, and she will be using a helmet camera with the number 11.

Though there have been over 200 spacewalks outside the ISS, all have consisted of two men or a man and a women, and women only make up around 10 per cent of the people who have been to space.

Humans have been walking out in space for half a century-but this historic mission marked the first time that women have embarked on a spacewalk without the assistance of a male crewmate.

Trump was flanked by Vice President Pence, who is chairman of the National Space Council, his daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. What you do is incredible.

"I think the milestone is that hopefully this will now be considered normal. You are fantastic people".

"This is truly historic", Trump added. "Our county is very proud of you, and we're really proud of you".

The two most recent spacewalks carried out by NASA astronauts tasked the crew with replacing aging batteries with newer, more efficient models.

Meir, making her spacewalking debut, became the 228th person in the world to conduct a spacewalk and the 15th woman.

Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov performed history's first spacewalk in 1965.