NASA astronauts to perform first all-women spacewalk

AP Photo

U.S. astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir of NASA are set to make a history by performing all-women spacewalk on Friday.

The duo will begin their venture outside of the International Space Station (ISS) at 7:50 a.m. (1050GMT) on Friday to replace a failed power controller, also known as a battery charge-discharge unit, NASA said in a statement on Thursday.

First ever all-women spacewalk generated huge amount of public interest although it is the 221st spacewalk performed in support of space station assembly, NASA added.

"The all-women spacewalk wasn't something we purposefully planned, though. It was bound to happen eventually because of the increasing number of female astronauts," NASA stressed.

The spacewalk is expected to take five to six hours, it added.

Space enthusiasts could watch the spacewalk live on NASA TV.

This milestone was scheduled to take place earlier in March which included Koch and fellow astronaut Anne McClain, but it was ultimately canceled due to the lack of appropriately sized spacesuits.

Friday's mission will be Koch's fourth and Meir's first mission. Both Koch and Meir, selected as astronaut candidates in 2013, are on their first spaceflight, according to NASA.

"In the past women haven't always been at the table. It's wonderful to be contributing to the space program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role," Koch said earlier when asked about the importance of this spacewalk.

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