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First World Spaceport returns as NASA prepares for 10-EVA marathon



NASA is preparing for a marathon of space walks, and one of them may be the first fully-fledged space walk by women.

Two women now at the International Space Station, NASA astronauts Christine Koch and Jessica Meir, plan to have a space trip together on October 21st. This will be the fourth in a series of 10 cosmodromes scheduled to take place over the next three months, and it will be the first time the two women have made space together.

Although astronauts and astronauts have performed more than 200 space walks for the construction and maintenance of the International Space Station, only 15 women have ever been to a spaceport, and they have always accompanied men. NASA initially planned to have its first space walk among the females in March, but the plan fell apart due to the lack of properly fitted space suits.

Related: The Most Famous Space Walk in History (Gallery)

NASA astronauts Jessica Mayr (left) and Christina Koch plan to have a space walk together on October 21, 2019.

(Image Credit: NASA TV) Both women needed a mid-sized upper torso (HUT), some of the spacesuits had a T-shirt. However, only one was available at the space station. McCain originally planned to wear a large size, but decided that the tool is better suited to her. While there was a spare medium HUT on board, constructing another costume for McClain would have taken too long, so one of its large crew members made this cosmodrome instead.

Meir also requires an average HUT for her space suit, but that won't be a problem this time, because NASA has had enough time to prepare another mid-size suit since March. This spare-size-average HUT launched at the space station last year, but it wasn't necessarily part of the plan to create the first all-female spaceport. In a briefing today (October 4), ISC NASC Program Manager Kirk Shereman said the agency plans to release "many middle-aged people" to the space station over the next two years, so that the HUT will be put to good use.

For the first five out of 10 spaceports appearing, Expedition 61 astronauts will replace the station's old solar panels, a work that continues in a series of spaceports that began in 2017. The following five cosmodromes focus on repairing a space station's alpha-magnetic spectrometer, experimenting with diseased dark matter. Each of these space walks is expected to last about 6.5 hours.

The first space shuttle will begin on Sunday (October 6th), when NASA astronaut Drew Morgan and Koch will work together to install new batteries on the P6 farm. You can watch all these walks live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook .

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(Image Credit: All About Space Magazine)


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