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Nasa sets date for first ever all-female spacewalk

6th Mar 2019

Nasa has announced that later this month it will carry out the first ever all-female spacewalk.

A Soviet cosmonaut, Svetlana Savitskaya, was the first woman to walk in space, doing so on July 25, 1984.

But on March 29, Nasa astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will conduct a spacewalk as part of the Expedition 59 crew at the International Space Station (ISS).

They will be supported by Canadian Space Agency controller Kristen Facciol, who will be sitting at the console at Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Florida Today reported.

News that the all-woman crew was set to make history came in a tweet from Ms. Facciol.

“I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina and I can not contain my excitement!!!!,” she wrote.

I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina and I can not contain my excitement!!!! #WomenInSTEM #WomenInEngineering #WomenInSpace

— Kristen Facciol (@kfacciol) March 1, 2019

A spokesperson for NASA confirmed to The Independent the all-female spacewalk would be one of three such operations scheduled to be carried out once the ISS has a complement of six astronauts.

That is due to happen on 14 March, when a Russian Soyuz flight will transport cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, and NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Ms. Koch to the station.

The spokesperson said it was “cool” to have an all-female walk, but it had “not been orchestrated to be this way”. The spokesperson said the spacewalks – taking place during female history month – would focus on the replacement of batteries.

Axios said the first American woman in space was Sally Ride, who flew with the space shuttle Challenger in 1983.

It said spacewalks were reasonably rare and tended to be carried out to address mechanical repairs to the ISS.