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US Astronauts Plan Historic Spacewalk Friday

All-female mission was delayed until a medium suit was delivered
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2019 5:35 PM CDT
Astronauts Christina Koch, right, and, Jessica Meir pose earlier this month on the International Space Station. They plan to go for a walk today.   (NASA via AP)

(Newser) – Christina Koch and Jessica Meir plan to step outside the International Space Station on Friday to replace a broken part, but also to make history. It will be the first all-female spacewalk. "We don’t even really think about it on a daily basis," Meir told reporters in a video interview, the Wall Street Journal reports. "It's just normal. We're part of the team." A women-only spacewalk had been planned for March that was to include Anne McClain, who since has come back to Earth, but had to be canceled because the craft didn't have two suits in the right sizes. After a medium spacesuit was delivered in June, the walk was rescheduled. Koch and Meir will replace a failed power controller.

They'll become the 14th and 15th women to walk in space, per NBC. Since December 1998, NASA has had 220 spacewalks. Of NASA's 49 active and training astronauts, 17 are women. "In the past, women haven’t always been at the table," Koch said earlier this month, "and it's wonderful to be contributing to the human spaceflight program at a time when all contributions are being accepted." Meir posted the "first spacesuit selfie" Wednesday on Twitter, promising better photos when the two go outside. The walk can be seen live here, starting about 7:50am Eastern. (Read more spacewalk stories.)

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