Mission Achieved

November 1, 2019
GEARING UP Jessica Meir (left) and Christina Koch prepare for the first all-female spacewalk.
NASA

American astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir have successfully completed the first-ever all-female spacewalk. On October 18, they floated outside the International Space Station (ISS) with wrenches and screwdrivers while repairing the station’s power grid.

The historic spacewalk lasted seven hours and 17 minutes. People around the world watched NASA’s livestream of the event.

“We don’t want to take too much credit because there have been many others—female spacewalkers—before us,” Meir said on a call with President Donald Trump. He called the ISS to congratulate the women. Meir added, “This is just the first time that there have been two women outside at the same time . . . For us, this is really just doing our job.”

Spacewalking is one of the most dangerous jobs an astronaut can do. The world’s first spacewalk took place in 1965. Since then, there have been 227 spacewalkers. Only 15 have been women.

An all-female spacewalk was originally scheduled for March. But because of a shortage of medium-sized space suits, that walk was completed by a male and a female astronaut instead.