By Evie Carrick
March 07, 2019
NASA astronaut Anne McClain during a spacesuit check before a launch of the ISS Expedition 58/59 crew to the International Space Station
Credit: Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images

Since 1998, NASA has reported 213 spacewalks from the International Space Station (ISS). In each mission, two astronauts suit up and leave the station, with support from crew members. Most of the ISS’s 213 missions have been conducted by male astronauts with the help of some female crew members, though never in the ISS’s 21 years and 213 spacewalks has there been an all-female spacewalk.

But everything is set to change on March 29 as NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch execute the first all-female spacewalk with all-female support. And it just so happens to land in Women’s History Month.

The spacewalk is expected to last about seven hours and will be broadcast on NASA TV. Typically, astronauts are responsible for making repairs and upgrades to the outside of the space station, but the details of this particular mission have not been released. McClain is already on board the ISS while Koch is scheduled to launch to the station on March 14. Both women are members of NASA’s 2013 astronaut class, which was comprised of 50 percent women.

The all-female support team includes Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol who tweeted that she’ll be on console providing support on the historic day. Also involved in the mission is Mary Lawrence, lead flight director, and Jackie Kagey, lead EVA flight controller.

Assuming everything goes as planned, March 29, 2019 will go down as a historic day for women in space.