Michigan Astronaut Part of First All-Female Spacewalk
Talk about your women breaking glass ceilings, one Michigan native is about to take that statement a tad higher.
Astronaut Christina Koch, born in Grand Rapids, will be making history later this month as part of the first all-female spacewalk crew NASA announced. Along with fellow astronaut Jessica Meir, Koch will be assigned with plugging in upgraded batteries for the solar power system.
Koch arrived in March for her first mission at the International Space Station and will stay until February 2020 allowing her to mark another first for women with the longest single spaceflight.
Koch, who is an electrical engineer, is very aware of how important her accomplishments are as an astronaut and a female in the field. She commented in a recent interview, "In the past, women haven’t always been at the table, And it’s wonderful to be contributing to the human spaceflight program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role, and that can lead, in turn, to increased chance for success."
Women are still lagging behind the men in terms of experience in space. Since the world’s very first spacewalk back in 1965, there have been only 14 women that have participated in a spacewalk versus 213 men, according to NASA. There are currently 12 female astronauts working with NASA. The original mission was scheduled for back in March, but showing that NASA may not be completely ready for females to soar to new heights, the mission was canceled due to not having properly fitted spacesuits readily available for the women.