VIDEO: First all-female spacewalk team makes history

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir did work on International Space Station’s power grid

In this photo provided by NASA, astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir exits the International Space Station on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (NASA via AP)

The world’s first all-female spacewalking team made history high above Earth on Friday, replacing a broken part of the International Space Station’s power grid.

As NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir completed the job with wrenches, screwdrivers and power-grip tools, it marked the first time in a half-century of spacewalking that men weren’t part of the action. They insisted they were just doing their job after years of training.

America’s first female spacewalker from 35 years ago, Kathy Sullivan, was delighted. She said it’s good to finally have enough women in the astronaut corps and trained for spacewalking for this to happen.

“We’ve got qualified women running the control, running space centres, commanding the station, commanding spaceships and doing spacewalks,” Sullivan told The Associated Press earlier this week. “And golly, gee whiz, every now and then there’s more than one woman in the same place.”

President Donald Trump put in a congratulatory call from the White House to mark “this historic event … truly historic.”

“What you do is incredible. You’re very brave people,” Trump told them as they wrapped up their spacewalk.

Replied Meir: “We don’t want to take too much credit because there have been many others — female spacewalkers — before us. This is just the first time that there have been two women outside at the same time … For us, this is really just us doing our job.”

NASA leaders, Girl Scouts and others also cheered Koch and Meir on. Parents also sent in messages of thanks and encouragement via social media. NASA included some in its TV coverage. “Go girls go,” two young sisters wrote on a sign in crayon. A group of middle schoolers held a long sign reading “The sky is not the limit!!”

At the same time, many expressed hope this will become routine in the future.

NASA originally wanted to conduct an all-female spacewalk last spring, but did not have enough medium-size suits ready to go until summer. Koch and Meir were supposed to install more new batteries in a spacewalk next week, but had to venture out three days earlier to deal with an equipment failure that occurred over the weekend. It was the second such failure of a battery charger this year, puzzling engineers and putting a hold on future battery installations for the solar power system.

READ MORE:

The Editor’s desk: For want of a spacesuit

VIDEO: Scientists reveal first image ever made of black hole

The spacewalkers’ main job was to replace the faulty 19-year-old old charge-regulating device — the size of a big, bulky box — for one of the three new batteries that was installed last week by Koch and astronaut Andrew Morgan.

Spacewalking is widely considered the most dangerous assignment in orbit. Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, who operated the station’s robot arm from inside during Friday’s spacewalk, almost drowned in 2013 when his helmet flooded with water from his suit’s cooling system.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

This photo, provided by NASA, shows astronauts Andrew Morgan with Christina Koch and Jessica Meir at the International Space Station on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (NASA via AP)

Just Posted

Island farm stands opening for business with COVID-19 restrictions

Growers hopeful shoppers will support local farms

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

Duncan veteran recalls war’s end

War changed Jack Bridges’ life forever

Vancouver Island’s long road to recovery will have a few bumps

Some things will never be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic, local experts say

West Coast resorts cautiously prepare to welcome tourists again

“We need to get the tourist economy in our communities back up and running.”

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Incoming: Income tax deadlines arrive

2019 individual tax returns are due June 1, June 15 for self-employed individuals

Greater Victoria guide dog walk turns to virtual physical challenge

Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides is May 31 with an online twist

Tour de Victoria postpones 10th annual ride to 2021

Ride that draws more than 3,000 cyclists to Greater Victoria had been set for August

Parksville’s McMillan Arts Centre set to reopen on June 18

Local artists will have work on display; COVID-19 protocols observed

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Most Read