The second-ever all-female spacewalk is happening right now, and you can watch it live as it plays out on the International Space Station (ISS).
NASA TV is currently streaming the spacewalk that features two women astronauts who are part of Expedition 61: Jessica Meir and Christina Koch. The two are replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries on the ISS. The batteries store power generated by the station’s solar arrays on the station’s port truss.
The livestream switches between multiple point of views, including the astronauts’ points of view, so you can see what they are seeing. You can hear Meir and Koch communicating with each other, as well as commentary from a narrator about what they are doing and where they are located above Earth.
The spacewalk is a five-and-a-half hours in and is expected to take a total of six-and-a-half hours to complete the five tasks. Meir and Koch will head back out on Monday, January 20, for another spacewalk to finish replacing the remaining batteries. You will also be able to tune into that spacewalk on NASA TV, beginning at 2:30 a.m. PT.
Meir and Koch made history in October by completing the first all-female spacewalk. At the time, it was Meir’s first-ever spacewalk and Koch’s fourth. That spacewalk lasted 7 hours and 17 minutes.
According to space.com, of the 566 people who have flown to space, only 64 have been women, and of the 38 currently active NASA astronauts, only 12 are women.
Meir and Koch are two of the astronauts paving the way for other women to make their way to space. NASA has plans to land humans on the moon once again by 2024, including the first woman to go to the moon.
When asked about whether it was important for her work to be recognized because of her gender before the first all-female spacewalk, Koch said the following in a video posted to Twitter: “I think it’s important because of the historical nature of what we’re doing. There are a lot of people who derive motivation from inspiring stories from people that look like them, and I think it’s an important aspect of the story to tell.”
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