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NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir have made history by embarking on the first-ever all-female spacewalk, conducting a service task of replacing a damaged battery outside the International Space Station. The historic moment began at 7:38 AM ET (5:08 PM IST), about an hour ago — when Koch set her spacesuit to battery power mode and ventured out into the endless abyss, attached to the ISS with a red tether. Meir followed soon with a tool bag clutched, at 7:49 AM ET (5:19 PM IST).
The historic spacewalk was being streamed live on Twitter right now by NASA, which you can watch in the stream below:
LIVE NOW: Tune in to watch the first AllWomanSpacewalk in human history! 👩🏻🚀— NASA (@NASA) October 18, 2019
Starting at approximately 7:50am ET, @Astro_Christina & @Astro_Jessica venture into the vacuum of space to replace a failed power controller. Watch: https://t.co/2SIb9YXlRh
The spacewalk is scheduled to last for approximately five-and-a-half hours, with a scheduled service task at hand. However, the moment is far more significant than the task at hand, reflecting on the immense contribution of women in space exploration. At the media briefing prior to the beginning of the spacewalk, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the space agency’s intention to send the first woman to the moon by 2024, in a mission that is tentatively being named Artemis — after the mythological twin sister of Apollo.
Alongside being part of a historic first spacewalk, Koch is also scheduled to become the longest staying female resident of the ISS, with a scheduled duration of 328 days. With the latest achievements, NASA is looking to take space exploration farther along by judging the impact of life in outer space on the human body. The spacewalk is presently ongoing, and will likely last for another four hours. A final report on the spacewalk shall be issued by NASA, once Koch and Meir safely make their way back to the ISS, after completing the service task.