Friday 18 October 2019 is the first all-women spacewalk on the International Space Station. This picture shows more than fifty women working at ESA’s technical heart ESTEC in the Netherlands, many working in daily Space Station support roles who gathered to show their support and highlight the role of women in space. ESA is committed to diversity and inclusion and to tackling the gender gap in science and technology.
NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will set their spacesuits to battery power at 07:50 EDT (13:50 CET) to begin a 5.5-hour spacewalk. As the first all-women spacewalk, this marks a historic milestone for space exploration.
The duo will venture to the far side of the International Space Station on the Port 6 truss structure. Once there, the spacewalkers will begin their primary task to replace the failed power regulator with a spare battery charge-discharge unit (BCDU). The BCDU had been in operation since December 2000 and is due to return to Earth on the next SpaceX Dragon resupply ship for inspection. The device regulates the charge to batteries that collect and distribute power to the station.
This is the 221st spacewalk at the station for assembly and maintenance, the fourth for Christina and the first for Jessica.