On March 29, NASA’s Anne McClain and Christina Koch will meet at the International Space Station as part of the first ever all-female spacewalk; they’ll also been supported by a woman on the ground: flight controller Kristen Facciol, who was so excited at the news she could barely contain her excitement in this tweet:
NASA spoke to CNN about the historic spacewalk and, it seemed to me, kind of tried to downplay the significance of it:
“As currently scheduled, the March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women,” NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz told CNN in an emailed statement Wednesday. “It is the second in a series of three planned spacewalks. Anne also will join Nick Hague for the March 22 spacewalk. And, of course, assignments and schedules could always change.”
NASA isn’t making a statement, in other words:
“It was not orchestrated to be this way; these spacewalks were originally scheduled to take place in the fall,” Schierholz added.
It’s so silly that this has taken so long, considering humans have been going to space since 1961. But things have been changing at NASA over the last few years. In 2013, half of NASA’s latest class of astronauts were women, something that had also never happened before, and the space agency announced those inductees could one day be sent on a mission to Mars. McClain was one of them. She told Glamour at the time that “I’d made my peace with not getting in” because she applied along with 61,000 other people.
McClain is currently at the ISS, and sharing lots of photos.
Congrats to McClain and Koch!