NASA's new space mission just got more interesting as it could be the first spacewalk to be conducted entirely by women. All five will be done by Morgan and Parmitano because the work to fix the AMS requires special skills versus the more generic training that includes activities like battery replacements.
After removing the first old battery, Koch and Morgan took turns holding it as they made their way, inchworm style, to a storage platform where it needed to be placed. Koch said that the final assignments aren't set in stone, but that there are enough properly sized suits this time. The second medium was put together on board in June.
Koch, who has been aboard the space station for 205 days as of Saturday, was originally scheduled to participate in the first event of this kind back in March with fellow astronaut Anne C. McClain.
"Wow, it is attractive", said Morgan ahead of schedule in the spacewalk, responding to the sun ascending as he looked off the side of the station at Earth underneath.
"I'm sure that they'll sit back and reflect on it, as we all will".
"In the past, women haven't always been at the table", Koch said during a televised interview earlier this week. "It's really nice to see how far that we've come".
Expect more women spacewalking together on the horizon. The old batteries are 10 years old; the new ones are expected to last until the end of the space station's life, providing vital power on the night side of the Earth.
Meir shared an image of her hugging Koch after arriving on the station. There are 11 spacewalks coming up in the next few months - 10 U.S. and one Russian. NASA plans to develop initial xEMU models, including one that will be flown to the station for a 2023 test and the two that will be used on the Artemis 3 lunar landing mission in 2024.