All Female Spacewalk Created History :
It’s a proud moment for humanity to look up to the sky with pride. I mean literally look up as the new history made in space.
Spacewalk is a great milestone but what made it greater is that it was achieved by all woman spacewalk team on-board the International Space Station [ISS] on Friday, 18th October 2019.
Who did it…?
Image source: NASA
Koch and Meir joined NASA’s astronaut corps in 2013. Their astronaut class was nicknamed as the ‘Eight Balls’. It had the highest ratio of women astronauts to date. They grew on to become besties ever since.
This was Koch’s 4th and Meir’s 1st spacewalk mission. This historic Extra-Vehicular Activity [EVA] was led by Christina Koch.
Koch is on track to break a space record of being a female astronaut to spend the longest period of time in space by beating former astronaut Peggy Whitson’s former records of 288 days.
Interesting facts about spacewalk :
> This is the 221st spacewalk mission performed for the space station’s maintenance and assembly.
> In 1984, Svetlana Savitskaya was the 1st woman to perform a spacewalk.
> Women have participated in a total of 42 spacewalks.
> This was the 8th spacewalk conducted at ISS this year.
When did the spacewalk begin…?
The historic spacewalk was successfully done on Friday, 18th October 2019. The [EVA] mission started at 11:38 GMT [7:38 EDT] that was ahead of the preplanned schedule as it was slated to start at 11:50 GMT [7:50 EDT].
The official start of the mission began once the 2 astronauts’ spacesuits were powered up. The astronauts were being directed by NASA’s veteran astronaut and Capsule Communicator [CAPCOM] Stephanie Wilson on Earth. The all-women spacewalk successfully lasted 7 hours 17 minutes.
What they did during the spacewalk :
There was an issue with one of the space station’s 24 Battery Charge / Discharge Units [BCDU].
And the mission of the astronauts was to replace the faulty battery charge/discharge unit that failed to activate after new Li-ion batteries were installed on the exterior structure of the space station on October 11.
Use of BCDU :
It is one of the many devices that control the charge flow of the batteries that collect energy from solar arrays of the space station.
Despite the fact that the unit’s failure did not affect the safety of crew (or) station operations, it was hindering the new batteries from providing the essential station power.
BCDU size: 71-102-30 cms [28-40-12”], weight : 106 kgs [235 lbs] on Earth.
It was like “Mission Impossible: Space Station”.The whole team along with Koch and Meir worked seamlessly to replace the unit. The new BCDU was on the outside of the ISS on the external logistics carrier.
First Koch had to hitch-hike the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to make it to the external logistics carrier and transport the massive BCDU. The robotic arm was remotely controlled by Luca Parmitano from inside the space station.
After the safe retrieval of the new unit, Meir and Koch dismantled the faulty device from the circuit and positioned the new unit at the exterior P6 worksite of the ISS.
After the successful completion of the mission, Koch and Meir had some special time too to witness the beauty of Earth. When they flew over California, they had some incredible and mesmerizing views of the planet below them.
Check out the Spacewalk views through years…
The world cheered during the historic moment :
During the mission, the U.S President Donald Trump telecommunicated the 2 astronauts from the White House and said. “I just want to congratulate you, you’re both very brave, brilliant women, and you represent this Country. So well… we are very proud of you… What you do is really something very special. So 1st the Moon, and then we go to Mars… Thank you both.”
During our #AllWomanSpacewalk, there was an Earth-to-space call as @POTUS called @Astro_Christina & @Astro_Jessica to congratulate them on their historic accomplishment. Read about the work completed outside the @Space_Station during yesterday’s spacewalk: https://t.co/dDkOU83Dfd pic.twitter.com/JTapHhHEze
— NASA (@NASA) October 19, 2019
Astronaut Jessica Meir said that. “We hope that we can provide an inspiration to everybody that has a dream, that has a big dream and who is willing to work hard… This is my 1st flight and my very first spacewalk, so it is a pretty incredible feeling, I’m sure you can all imagine and it’s one I will never forget.”
Like these strong words this milestone ‘all-female spacewalk’ has inspired millions of aspiring astronauts around the world.