At 7:38am ET, our #AllWomanSpacewalk officially started as @Astro_Christina & @Astro_Jessica set their spacesuits to battery power, marking the beginning of their 5.5 hour excursion outside of the @Space_Station to replace a failed power controller. Watch: https://t.co/2SIb9YXlRh— NASA (@NASA) October 18, 2019
Yesterday presented a bit of history for NASA as they completed their first-ever spacewalk to feature only women. A repair mission to fix a failed power controller on the International Space Station sent two astronauts into action at around 8 AM on Friday morning. After a couple of hours of work, Christina H. Koch and Jessica Meir made their way back inside at 2:55 PM. Now, this event was supposed to occur seven months ago, but that attempt had to be shut down after the Space Station couldn’t find a medium-sized spacesuit for one of the astronauts. Back then, Anne McClain was billed to be alongside Koch to fix the power controller. McClain tried to make it work with a large-sized suit, but in the end, her mobility was too compromised by the shift up a size.
In response to the dilemma, NASA spent a second medium-sized suit up to the Space Station this month. That delivery served to eliminate a similar problem on their second try. The agency took a measure of public criticism over the gaffe because there were more than enough suits for multiple men aboard the Space Station at that time. NASA has a vested interest in adjusting the public perception of their agency as engaging in any type of discrimination. They would later release a statement saying that all of their spacesuits designed for this mission are designed to provide maximum mobility for astronauts of all shapes and sizes.
Still, the mission was a big achievement for NASA and the astronauts. This was the first time there has ever been a two-woman spacewalk and it went off without a hitch. The agency will probably make the replay available soon and the footage could serve to inspire generations to come. This all comes as the agency is enjoying a resurgence in popular media as strong as any time in 20 years.
People are wearing gear inspired by the space travel materials that real-life astronauts wear. Multiple companies are collaborating with the agency to make use of patches, emblems, and logos in their collections. Younger consumers have been receptive to the offerings as retailers are proud to add fuel to the space race redux style craze going on right now.
It wasn’t too long ago that NASA extended the contract for the Hubble Space Telescope all the way to 2021. That project was only billed to have a lifespan of about 15 years back when it launched in 1990. Still, here we are well past that point and learning new things about our universe and the regions beyond every day. Maybe one day a new generation of space explorers will make a massive discovery and harken back to this era as a huge reason for their interest in the field.