Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, soaring 260 miles above a wave of public interest, suited up for history’s first all-female spacewalk Friday, the first two-woman “EVA” in the 54 years since a Russian cosmonaut carried out the first stroll in space just to prove it could be done — and to beat NASA to the punch.
Astronauts Drew Morgan and Christina Koch floated back outside the International Space Station Friday and completed work to replace six aging batteries with three more powerful units in one of the lab’s eight solar power circuits. Three more spacewalks are planned over the next two weeks to replace another six batteries in an adjacent circuit.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine visited SpaceX’s California rocket factory Thursday, toured the sprawling facility with founder Elon Musk and told reporters he is optimistic the company will be ready to launch the first piloted test flight of its Crew Dragon spaceship in the first quarter of next year.
Boeing officials said Wednesday that the company is targeting Dec. 17 for the launch of the first unpiloted orbital test flight of the new Starliner crew capsule from Cape Canaveral on a week-long demonstration mission to the International Space Station, a precursor to a mission with astronauts next year.
Astronauts Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan floated outside the International Space Station Sunday and completed a 7-hour, 1-minute spacewalk to begin replacing batteries on the far left side of the research outpost’s solar array truss, the first of up to six excursions scheduled before the end of October.
After a spacesuit sizing problem prevented an all-female spacewalk earlier this year, astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will get a chance to make history Oct. 21 when they venture outside the International Space Station in the fourth of five excursions to install a new set of solar array batteries, NASA managers announced Friday.