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For first time in history, all-female crew to conduct spacewalk

PW Bureau

American astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will perform a spacewalk as part of the Expedition 59 crew

New Delhi: History will be made later this month, with NASA confirming that an all-female crew will conduct a spacewalk at the International Space Station. American astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will perform a spacewalk as part of the Expedition 59 crew. They will be assisted by Canadian Space Agency flight controller, Kristen Facciol, who will serve as console at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston.      

The all-female spacewalk is scheduled to take place on March 29 and will last for seven hours, the NASA website says.

What is a spacewalk?

A spacewalk is an expedition performed by an astronaut to conduct work, such as repairs, science experiments, observation and testing of new equipment, outside a space shuttle.

All NASA astronauts, who will board the ISS this month are from the 2013 astronaut class and the most recent class of flight directors, said NASA. This expedition will also be McClain's first time in space, while it will also be Koch's first spaceflight.

March also marks Women's History Month – the perfect time to script more history for women. But a NASA spokesperson confirmed to the publication Axios that the planned spacewalk was "not orchestrated to be this way.”  

The expedition comes nearly 35 years after cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space.