Thursday, May 28, 2020 | ePaper

US makes history with first all-female spacewalk

  • Print


AFP :
US astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir became the first all-female pairing to carry out a spacewalk Friday, following a spacesuit flub earlier this year that caused the historic mission to be aborted.
"Christina, you may egress the airlock," spacecraft communicator Stephanie Wilson told the pair shortly after they set out to replace a power controller on the International Space Station at 1138 GMT.
They began their mission making standard safety checks on their suits and tethers, before making their way to the repair site.
In a call to reporters a few minutes earlier, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine emphasized its symbolic importance.
"We want to make sure that space is available to all people, and this is another milestone in that evolution.
"I have an 11 year old daughter, I want her to see herself as having all the same opportunities that I found myself as having when I was growing up."
The first such mission was supposed to take place in March but was canceled because the space agency had only one medium-sized suit, with a male-female combination performing the required task at a later date.
Traditionally male-dominated NASA's failure to be
 adequately prepared was denounced in some quarters as evidence of implicit sexism.
Koch, an electrical engineer, was leading Meir, who holds a doctorate in marine biology and is making her first ever spacewalk.
The two were working to replace a faulty battery charge/discharge unit, known as a BCDU.
The station relies on solar power but is out of direct sunlight for much of its orbit and therefore needs batteries, and the BCDUs regulate the amount of charge that goes into them.
The current task was announced Monday and is part of a wider mission of replacing aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with higher capacity lithium-ion units.
The US sent its first female astronaut into space in 1983, when Sally Ride took part in the seventh Space Shuttle mission, and has now had more women astronauts than any other country.
But the first woman in space was Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in 1963, followed by compatriot Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982, who was also the first woman spacewalker two years later.
The spacewalk comes as NASA plans to return to the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis mission, named for the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.
The mission will see the first woman to set foot on the lunar surface, possibly as part of an all-woman team.



More News For this Category

Fire kills five patients at coronavirus unit of United Hospital

Fire kills five patients at coronavirus unit of United Hospital

At least five people have died in a fire incident at the COVID-19 unit of the United Hospital in Dhaka`s Gulshan.The Fire Service and Civil Defence sent three units to

Educational institutions to remain shut till June 15

Educational institutions to remain shut till June 15

All the educational institutions will remain closed until June 15, State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain said Wednesday.  A gazette notification will be issued on Thursday in this regard,

14 die in northern Bangladesh after consuming `alcoholic drinks`

14 die in northern Bangladesh after consuming `alcoholic drinks`

bdnews24.com : At least 14 people died in three days after consuming bootleg liquor in the neighbouring districts of Dinajpur and Rangpur during the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday.   In the northern district

Bangladesh decides against extending shutdown, offices to reopen May 31

The government has decided not to extend the ongoing shutdown over the coronavirus outbreak, allowing offices to reopen on May 31.Offices and other workplaces will be allowed to reopen on

Cabinet sec, three chiefs, IGP meet President

Cabinet secretary, chiefs of three services and Inspector General of Police (IGP) on Tuesday separately paid a courtesy call on President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban in the evening.  Cabinet Secretary

Beacon Pharma MD Ebadul Karim contracts coronavirus

Ebadul Karim Bulbul, the managing director of Beacon Pharmaceuticals, has caught COVID-19.He tested positive for the novel coronavirus five days ago, his elder brother and Orion Group Chairman Obaidul Kabir

Niloufer Manzur, founding head of Sunbeams, dies from COVID-19

Niloufer Manzur, founding head of Sunbeams, dies from COVID-19

bdnews24.com : Niloufer Manzur, founding head of Sunbeams school, died in hospital care from the COVID-19 illness, an official of the school, has confirmed.Niloufer, wife of Syed Manzur Elahi, one

India coronavirus: Chaos at airports as domestic flights resume

India coronavirus: Chaos at airports as domestic flights resume

Long queues and chaos greeted passengers at Indian airports as flights resumed two months after they were halted to help stop the spread of coronavirus.Local media said almost 100 flights

Novavax starts Phase 1 clinical trial of coronavirus vaccine candidate

Novavax starts Phase 1 clinical trial of coronavirus vaccine candidate

Reuters : Novavax Inc said on Monday it has started the Phase 1 clinical trial of a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate and has enrolled the trial's first participants, with preliminary

Dr Zafrullah tests `positive` for coronavirus

Dr Zafrullah tests `positive` for coronavirus

Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury on Monday said he was diagnosed with coronavirus.  Dr Zafrullah told reports that he was tested with Rapid Dot Blot kit developed by Gonoshasthaya