NASA moves up first all-woman spacewalk to fix power unit

FILE- In this image released Friday Oct. 4 2019 by NASA astronauts Christina Koch right and Jessica Meir pose for

FILE- In this image released Friday Oct. 4 2019 by NASA astronauts Christina Koch right and Jessica Meir pose for

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will now venture out Thursday or Friday, instead of next Monday, to deal with the problem.

NASA is gearing up to conduct an all-female spacewalk on the International Space Station (ISS) this week.

In an interview here during a media event for Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser cargo vehicle, Kirk Shireman, NASA ISS program manager, said the BCDU units were turned off before an October 11 spacewalk to replace batteries, but otherwise not touched.

A critical battery power controller failed over the weekend, prompting the change, NASA officials said Monday.

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Instead, NASA will carry out a spacewalk either October 17 or 18 to replace the failed BCDU unit with a spare on the station. The three spacewalks previously planned to continue the installation of additional lithium-ion batteries will be rescheduled. She is the third Mainer, and first ME woman, to enter into outer space, the others being Christopher Cassidy, a York High School graduate who has completed six spacewalks and served as the nation's chief astronaut from 2013 to 2017, and Charles O. Hobaugh, a Bar Harbor native who has made three spaceflights.

The devices regulate the amount of charge going to and from each battery. "We're still scratching our heads looking at the data". Pictured: NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, a member of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 59/60, attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Centre in Star City outside Moscow on February 20, 2019. NASA's spacesuits are not differentiated by sex but female astronauts tend to require smaller sizes than their male counterparts and only one medium sized suit was available when the walk was originally set to take place. Very good that we now have four expert spacewalkers on board to shoulder this robust task. They are the A-team!' tweeted astronaut Anne McClain, who would have gone spacewalking with Koch in March if not for the suit-sizing issue.

Once Koch completes her assignment, she will be the first woman to have the longest single continuous stay in space.

Meir is scheduled for two other spacewalks this month, on October 21 and October 25. Meir and Christina Koch's October 21 spacewalk will be the first all-female spacewalk. All but one of these women has been American.

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