CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Men have floated out the hatch on all 420 spacewalks conducted over the past half-century.
That changed Friday with spacewalk No. 421.
NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir ventured outside the International Space Station before 8 a.m. ET Friday and will spend over five hours replacing a broken battery charger, or BCDU. NASA’s Livestream of the historic spacewalk features astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson as one of the female narrators.
The units have previously been replaced using a robotic arm, but the newly failed unit is too far for it to reach.
The units regulate how much energy flows from the station’s massive solar panels to battery units, which are used to provide power during nighttime passes around Earth. Three previous spacewalks had been planned to replace lithium-ion batteries, but those will be rescheduled until the latest BCDU issue is resolved.