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[AmericaSpace] On International Women's Day
« dnia: Marzec 09, 2019, 23:41 »
On International Women's Day, NASA Looks Forward to First All-Female EVA in Late March; Koch Tapped for Longer ISS Stay
By Ben Evans, on March 8th, 2019


Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques at work with U.S. space suits in the Quest airlock aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Photo Credit: NASA

As the world observes International Women’s Day today (Friday, 8 March), we are reminded not only of the past accomplishments of female spacefarers—including Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space; Svetlana Savitskaya, the first woman to perform a spacewalk; Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a space mission; and Peggy Whitson, the first woman to lead a space station expedition—but of the promise of future achievements, as-yet unrealized.

In the coming weeks, NASA plans three periods of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) outside the International Space Station (ISS), involving four first-time spacewalkers from the United States and Canada. On the second of those three EVAs, on 29 March, U.S. astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will make history by performing the first-ever all-female spacewalk. And according to NASA, Koch may remain aboard the station to achieve the second-longest single mission ever performed by a woman.



On Mission 41G, Kathy Sullivan became the first U.S. female spacewalker. Photo Credit: NASA

All told, just 62 women from the United States, Russia, Canada, Italy, France, Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea and China have achieved Earth-orbital flight between Tereshkova’s pioneering mission on Vostok 6 in June 1963 and the launch of NASA’s Anne McClain aboard Soyuz MS-11 last December. Fewer still have performed spacewalks, with a mere 12 women to date—out of a total of more than 200 astronauts—having departed their orbital spacecraft, clad in pressurized suits, to work in near-total vacuum.

Yet the 37 EVAs conducted between July 1984 and, most recently, May 2017, which have included female spacewalkers, have been responsible for some of the most remarkable accomplishments in human exploration of the cosmos.



Spacewalker Kathy Thornton is dwarfed by Hubble’s solar array as she prepares to release it into space, during STS-61 in December 1993. Photo Credit: NASA

The Soviet Union’s Svetlana Savitskaya was the first woman spacewalker, spending 3.5 hours working outside the Salyut 7 space station in July 1984, after which NASA’s Kathy Sullivan did likewise outside shuttle Challenger the following October. Savitskaya evaluated a new space-welding tool, whilst Sullivan trialed an in-space refueling mechanism.

The first woman to make two EVAs was also the first woman to make three—Kathy Thornton, who supported Space Station Freedom construction tests on STS-49 in May 1992, then became the only female spacewalker to work on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) during STS-61 in December 1993—and Linda Godwin stands alone as the only woman to spacewalk outside two discrete space stations, namely Mir and the ISS.



Linda Godwin (left), pictured during STS-108 training, became the first woman to spacewalk outside two discrete space stations. Photo Credit: NASA

Susan Helms was a participant on the longest EVA ever conducted—a marathon, eight-hour-and-56-minute excursion, back in March 2001—whilst the current incumbent record-holder is former NASA Chief Astronaut Peggy Whitson, who has totaled 60 hours and 21 minutes in vacuum, across ten EVAs between August 2002 and May 2017. This positions her fourth on the list of most experienced spacewalkers in the world, sitting just behind seasoned Russian heavyweight Anatoli Solovyov and NASA veterans Mike Lopez-Alegria and Drew Feustel.

For several years, an element of unspoken lighthearted competition existed between Whitson and fellow NASA astronaut Suni Williams, as the mantle of most experienced female spacewalker pingponged between them. Williams has presently logged over 50 hours across her seven EVAs, whilst five other women—Tammy Jernigan, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Nicole Stott, Tracy Caldwell-Dyson and Kate Rubins—have spacewalked outside the ISS. Of those, Jernigan was the first woman to spacewalk outside the ISS, way back in May 1999.



Susan Helms translates along the wall of the shuttle’s payload bay during her STS-102 EVA with Jim Voss. This spacewalk in March 2001 remains the longest EVA ever conducted, at eight hours and 56 minutes. Photo Credit: NASA

Several of those female spacewalkers have adopted the leadership mantle on their EVAs, serving as “EV1”, although at no point in history has an all-female spacewalk ever taken place. That will occur for the first time on 29 March, when incumbent Expedition 58 astronaut Anne McClain and her soon-to-be-launched crewmate Christina Koch step outside the ISS to continue work to replace a set of 12 aging nickel-hydrogen batteries in Power Channels 2A and 4A in the station’s P-4 truss with six smaller and more capable lithium-ion ones.

Current plans—outlined by NASA last month—call for McClain and Nick Hague to perform a spacewalk on 22 March to begin the work, after which McClain and Koch will make the second EVA a week later and Hague and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques will venture outside on 8 April to install truss jumpers and additional ethernet cable connections. For both of her EVAs, McClain will serve as EV1.



Shane Kimbrough (left) and the world’s most experienced female spacewalker Peggy Whitson (right), at work during EVA-41. Photo Credit: NASA/Twitter/Thomas Pesquet

Much speculation has abounded in recent months about the return schedule for various U.S. and Russian crew members, later this year, particularly in light of the fact that the first United Arab Emirates (UAE) spacefarer is expected to fly a short-duration mission of around ten days aboard Soyuz MS-15 in September. To free up a seat aboard Soyuz MS-12 for his return to Earth, it has been suggested that a Soyuz MS-12 crew member may enjoy a longer than nominal stay aboard the ISS. In comments provided to AmericaSpace, NASA’s Rob Navias explained definitively that “Hague returns to Earth in October”.

Launching alongside the UAE spaceflight participant are expected to be Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka—who will rejoin his one-time crewmate Christina Koch—and former NASA Chief Astronaut Chris Cassidy, who will remain aboard the space station until late spring 2020. According to Mr. Navias, “we expect Koch to remain on-board ISS” beyond October, with Ovchinin and Hague joining the UAE astronaut aboard Soyuz MS-12 for the return to Earth on 3 October. Asked if Koch would return on Soyuz MS-13 in December, or remain aboard even longer, returning on Soyuz MS-15 in April 2020, Mr. Navias advised that “the Flight Program is under review”. In either case, a landing in December 2019 or later will provide Koch with a minimum-duration mission of nine months aboard the ISS, the second-longest duration ever achieved by a female spacefarer on a single mission, after Peggy Whitson.


Source: https://www.americaspace.com/2019/03/08/on-international-womens-day-nasa-looks-forward-to-first-all-female-eva-in-late-march-koch-tapped-for-longer-iss-stay/#more-107501

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Odp: [AmericaSpace] On International Women's Day
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Marzec 26, 2019, 19:12 »
Spacesuit issue cancels first all-female spacewalk
by Jeff Foust — March 26, 2019


NASA astronaut Anne McClain during a March 22 spacewalk. A decision by McClain to use a smaller spacesuit led NASA to reshuffle assignments for upcoming spacewalks, in the process cancelling what would have been the first all-female EVA. Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — A spacesuit sizing issue has prompted NASA to reshuffle assignments for a pair of upcoming spacewalks at the International Space Station, cancelling a first-ever all-woman spacewalk and in the process turning what had been an accidental public relations coup for the agency into a headache.

NASA announced March 25 that Anne McClain, who performed a spacewalk with fellow NASA astronaut Nick Hague March 22, won’t participate in another spacewalk scheduled for March 29 with Christina Koch. Hague will instead perform the spacewalk with Koch to replace batteries that are part of the station’s power system.

The agency said it made the change after McClain found that she would be more comfortable wearing a suit with a medium-sized hard upper torso segment, rather than the large size she wore on the earlier spacewalk. Only one suit with a medium-sized torso is ready for use on the station, and station managers decided to have Koch use that suit.

There were no signs in the earlier spacewalk by McClain that the larger suit was a problem. An agency spokesperson said March 25 that McClain trained for the spacewalks on the ground in using medium and large torso segments, and initially thought that the larger suit would work, but concluded after the March 22 spacewalk that the smaller suit would be more comfortable.

Even with extensive training on the ground, getting the right fit for a spacesuit in microgravity can be a challenge. “When they launch on board, we know pretty well what suit size they are but, of course, your body changes slightly in space due to fluid shifts or spine elongation,” said Mary Lawrence, a NASA spacewalk flight director, during a March 19 press conference about the spacewalks.

A relatively routine reshuffling of crew assignments generated extra attention, and scrutiny, because of the historical significance of the planned spacewalk. Had the previous schedule held, a Koch-McClain spacewalk would have been the first in the history of spaceflight featuring only women.

“Anne and Christina will have the opportunity to be the first all-female EVA, which I think will be a proud moment for NASA, if the assignments stay as they planned,” Lawrence said at that briefing. “If they inspire that next generation of space explorers, they’re certainly worthy of that inspiration, and I’m just really proud to be a part of it.”

Agency officials, though, emphasized they did not deliberately team up Koch and McClain for that milestone. “There were a lot of circumstances that got us here,” said Kenny Todd, manager for ISS operations and integration at NASA, during the same briefing. Among those factors were delays in the spacewalk caused by changes in crew assignments and schedules after the aborted Soyuz MS-10 launch last October.

Another factor, he said, was giving spacewalk experience to as many astronauts as possible. “We’ve got a lot of young crew members here. Chances are they’re going to see space again at some point and, as much as we can, we’d like to make them veteran spacewalkers.”

Todd said that the historical significance didn’t immediately dawn on him or others planning the spacewalk. “It just wasn’t something that jumped out at us,” he said.

While NASA didn’t deliberately plan an all-woman spacewalk, it enjoyed the extra attention paid to it. That attention, though, created a backlash in social media when NASA announced the reassignment, with some people accusing the agency of sexism for not having enough medium-sized suits on the station or not being willing to delay the spacewalk until a solution could be found to allow Koch and McClain to perform an EVA together.

NASA later noted that there is a second medium-sized spacesuit torso on the station, but it is not currently configured for a spacewalk. An agency spokesperson said it’s easier to change the spacewalk crew assignments and keep to the current schedule than to reconfigure the spacesuits and delay the EVAs.

Delaying the spacewalk would pose other schedule challenges as well. Todd noted at the earlier briefing that April will be a busy month at the station with three cargo vehicles slated to arrive there. A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch to the station April 4, followed by a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft April 17. A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will follow in late April.

McClain, while not participating in this EVA, will take part in another spacewalk. NASA announced March 25 that she and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques will perform the third and last in the current series of spacewalks on April 8.


Source: https://spacenews.com/spacesuit-issue-cancels-first-all-female-spacewalk/

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Odp: [AmericaSpace] On International Women's Day
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Październik 19, 2019, 08:02 »
For All Womankind: Koch and Meir Complete Historic All-Female Spacewalk
By Ben Evans, on October 18th, 2019 [AS]


Christina Koch (with red stripes) was making her fourth career Extravehicular Activity (EVA), whilst Jessica Meir became the 14th U.S. woman and the 15th woman in history—when one also counts Russia’s Svetlana Savitskaya—to perform a spacewalk. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty-five years to the month since Kathy Sullivan carved her name in the annals of history by becoming America’s first female spacewalker, another record was set for the United States and the world earlier today (Friday, 18 October) when Expedition 61 astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir embarked on the world’s first all-woman Extravehicular Activity (EVA). The duo—with Koch making her fourth career EVA, serving as “EV1”, with red stripes on her space suit for identification, and first-timer spacewalker Meir as “EV2”, in a pure white suit—spent seven hours and 17 minutes outside the International Space Station (ISS) replacing a failed Battery Charge/Discharge Unit (BCDU) and tending to a number of get-ahead tasks. In addition to its obvious significance as the first-ever all-female EVA, today’s U.S. EVA-58 saw Koch jump in the rankings to become the world’s fourth most experienced woman spacewalker.


Jessica Meir (left) with Christina Koch during an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) fit-check earlier this week. Photo Credit: NASA

Although never intended as a gender-focused political stunt, an all-female spacewalk first entered the realms of possibility in March 2019, when NASA revealed its intent to send Expedition 59 astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch outside the ISS to help install new batteries onto the station’s P-4 truss. As circumstances transpired, the lack of availability of suitably-sized Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMUs) precluded an all-female EVA at that point in time and the spacewalk was instead done by McClain and her Expedition 59 crewmate Nick Hague. Hopes of sending two women outside at the same time were rekindled a second time on 4 October, when NASA announced that Koch and her newly-arrived Expedition 61 crewmate Jessica Meir would pair up for the fourth of five planned EVAs to remove 12 aging nickel-hydrogen batteries from the P-6 truss and replace them with six upgraded lithium-ion units.

That spacewalk, originally scheduled for 21 October, was postponed earlier this week when the need arose to remove and replace a failed Battery Charge/Discharge Unit (BCDU). Part of the station’s electrical power system, the BCDUs are responsible for regulating the amount of charge to the batteries from the eight Solar Array Wings (SAWs). Two spacewalks, conducted by Expedition 61 astronauts Koch and Drew Morgan, took place on 6 October and 11 October and successfully began the process of removing and replacing the old nickel-hydrogen batteries in the P-6 truss with new lithium-ion units. However, shortly after the completion of the second EVA, the BCDU failed to activate and the remaining three spacewalks were put on hold until it could be replaced. “The station’s overall power supply…remains sufficient for all operations and the failed unit has no impact on the crew’s safety of ongoing laboratory experiments,” NASA explained. “However, the failed power unit does prevent a new lithium-ion battery installed earlier this month from providing additional station power.”



Christina Koch is now the fourth most EVA-experienced woman in the world. Photo Credit: NASA

The failed BCDU has been operational since the P-6 truss was installed onto the station by the STS-97 shuttle crew, way back in December 2000. There are currently several replacement units stored on the exterior of the ISS and the one used for today’s changeout has itself been in space for over 12 years, having been delivered by the STS-118 shuttle crew in August 2007. And by happenstance, one of the STS-118 crew—veteran spacewalker Tracy Caldwell Dyson—was on hand for NASA TV’s coverage of U.S. EVA-58. In her commentary, she played down the significance of the first all-female EVA. “I think the milestone is hopefully this will now be considered normal,” she said, pointing out that women have performed numerous EVAs since 1984. “I think many of us are looking forward to this just being normal.”

Assisted into their suits this morning by Drew Morgan, and with Expedition 61 Commander Luca Parmitano at the controls of the 57.7-foot-long (17.6-meter) Canadarm2 robotic arm, Koch and Meir moved swiftly through their pre-EVA protocols and switched their suits onto battery power at 7:38 a.m. EDT. This officially began U.S. EVA-58. In addition to the BCDU replacement task, Koch and Meir also installed a stanchion onto Europe’s Columbus lab, in readiness for the arrival of the Bartolomeo external payload anchoring platform next spring. Returning to the Quest airlock after seven hours and 17 minutes, theirs was the longest of the eight EVAs—seven in U.S. suits, one in Russian-made suits—performed so far in 2019.



With ten EVAs and over 60 hours spent outside the International Space Station (ISS), Peggy Whitson is the world’s most experienced female spacewalker. Photo Credit: NASA

It also left Koch in fourth place on the world list of most experienced female spacewalkers. She sits behind EVA heavyweights Peggy Whitson, Sunita Williams and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper with a total of 27 hours and 48 minutes across her four career EVAs to date. Yet even this cadre of EVA veterans stand on the shoulders of other women astronauts—and a cosmonaut—who went before them. The first female spacewalker was the Soviet Union’s Svetlana Savitskaya, who spent three hours and 33 minutes outside the Salyut 7 space station in July 1984, testing a space welding tool. Three months later, in October 1984, shuttle astronaut Kathy Sullivan logged three hours and 29 minutes as America’s first woman spacewalker.

Sadly, although Sullivan came close to making another spacewalk on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in April 1990, it was almost a decade before the next woman pushed herself out of the shuttle’s airlock hatch and into space. In May 1992, on the maiden voyage of shuttle Endeavour, Kathy Thornton chalked up an EVA of seven hours and 45 minutes—longer than the spacewalks of Savitskaya and Sullivan, put together—to practice Space Station construction methods. And Thornton went on to log two more EVAs in December 1993 to repair Hubble itself, establishing herself as the most experienced female spacewalker with a cumulative 21 hours and 11 minutes spent outside a spacecraft. It was a record she held unchallenged for more than a decade.



Thirty-five years ago this month, Kathy Sullivan became America’s first woman spacewalker. Today, two of her successors performed the first all-female EVA. Photo Credit: NASA

In March 1996, Linda Godwin became the first U.S. female to clamber outside a space station, whilst shuttle Atlantis was docked to Russia’s Mir orbital outpost. Later in her career, Godwin also spacewalked outside the ISS, becoming the first woman to perform EVAs in support of two discrete space stations.

There have been disappointments in the annals of female EVAs, too, and not just after the lost McClain-Koch spacewalk earlier this year. Way back in November 1996, astronaut Tammy Jernigan was slated to perform two excursions on STS-80—in what would have been the first EVAs ever successfully performed from shuttle Columbia—but a jammed airlock hatch handle prematurely scuppered those plans. Jernigan eventually got her chance in May 1999, when she became the first woman to spacewalk outside the ISS. Others were less lucky. Wendy Lawrence was prevented from flying a long-duration mission to Mir, in part because of difficulties sizing the Russian space suit for her small frame.

Spacewalking by women reached its high-watermark in March 2001, when Susan Helms and crewmate Jim Voss spent a combined eight hours and 55 minutes outside the ISS in what remains the longest single EVA in human history. And as ISS construction and maintenance entered high gear, female shuttle astronauts and female ISS expedition residents participated in assembling the giant orbital laboratory.



Susan Helms’ EVA in March 2001 remains the longest in space history, having lasted eight hours and 55 minutes. Photo Credit: NASA

U.S. astronauts Peggy Whitson and Sunita Williams, across five ISS increments between 2002 and 2017, passed the torch repeatedly between one another to become the most experienced female spacewalker; as of today, Whitson stands as the record-holder, with a combined 60 hours and 21 minutes across ten career EVAs. Williams currently sits in second place, her seven EVAs totaling 50 hours and 40 minutes. In third place is Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper on 33.5 hours across five EVAs, with Christina Koch in fourth place.

But as Tracy Caldwell Dyson—whose three contingency spacewalks in August 2010 logged her nearly 23 hours outside the space station—remarked earlier this week, the milestone of the first all-female EVA will hopefully give way to a growing realization that of the normality of having women performing intricate tasks in the vacuum of space and, someday, on the surface of the Moon or Mars.


Source: https://www.americaspace.com/2019/10/18/for-all-womankind-koch-and-meir-complete-historic-all-female-spacewalk/#more-109608

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Odp: [AmericaSpace] On International Women's Day
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Październik 19, 2019, 21:50 »
NASA astronauts complete repairs on historic spacewalk
by Jeff Foust — October 18, 2019 [SN]


NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir work outside the ISS Oct. 18 on the agency's first all-female spacewalk. Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — Two NASA astronauts successfully replaced a faulty battery charger during the agency’s first all-female spacewalk Oct. 18, an event that at times appeared to go better in orbit than on the ground.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir spent seven hours and 17 minutes outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk, carrying out their primary task of replacing a battery charge/discharge unit (BCDU) on one end of the station’s truss. Controllers confirmed during the spacewalk that a spare BCDU installed in place of the faulty unit was working properly.

NASA announced Oct. 15 that it was rescheduling a series of spacewalks that started Oct. 6 to replace batteries that are part of the station’s power supply after the BCDU unit failed to turn back on after the second in that series of five spacewalks Oct. 11. Koch and Meir, who had been scheduled to perform a spacewalk together Oct. 21 as part of the battery swap process, were instead assigned to this new spacewalk to replace the BCDU.

The remaining battery swap spacewalks have been postponed for up to a few weeks to allow engineers to study why this unit failed, and if it’s related to the failure of another BCDU elsewhere on the station earlier this year.

After replacing the faulty unit, the astronauts performed several other unrelated “get-ahead” tasks. That included installing hardware on the exterior of the station’s European Columbus module that will support an external experiment rank called Bartolomeo that be installed there next year.

The spacewalk was the first for Meir, who is the 15th woman — all but one American — to walk in space. The spacewalk was Koch’s fourth, who now has nearly 28 hours of EVA time.

The spacewalk gained extra attention because it was the first time two women walked in space together. Many hailed that historic milestone while also regretting that it took so long into the Space Age for it to take place.

Koch and Anne McClain had been set to make history with an all-woman spacewalk earlier this year, but NASA was forced to change spacewalk assignments when McClain found she needed a different sized suit than originally planned. That led to public criticism of NASA for not having the right sized suits.

“People are going to respond the way they respond,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a media briefing shortly before the start of the spacewalk when asked about the public reaction to both this spacewalk and the cancelled one from earlier this year. “We are focused on mission success. We want to make sure that, every time we do a spacewalk, we’re doing it with purpose, to accomplish objectives that are in the best interest of the United States of America.”

Prior to the spacewalk, agency officials said they selected Koch and Meir for the spacewalk because they were the best available based on their training and the need to balance workloads for them and the other astronauts on the station. “We have the right people doing the right job at the right time,” Bridenstine said. “We are confident that Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will be able to accomplish this mission.”

NASA, though, also played up the historic aspect of this spacewalk, with Bridenstine calling the two “an inspiration to the world.” At NASA Headquarters, the agency invited several members of Congress, including members of the House Science Committee and the House appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA, to sit in an operations room to watch the opening phases of the spacewalk.

In the middle of the spacewalk, Koch and Meir took a phone call from President Donald Trump at the White House, who congratulated them on the milestone. “What you do is incredible,” he said in comments that also played up NASA plans to return to the moon and, from there, go to Mars.

Trump, though, misstated the achievement, calling it “the first-ever female spacewalk.” Meir corrected him. “We don’t want to take too much credit, because there have been many other female spacewalkers before us,” she said. “This is just the first time that there have been two women outside at the same time.”

Earlier in the day, Ken Bowersox, a former astronaut who is the acting associate administrator for human exploration and operations, raised eyebrows when he suggested women weren’t as suited as men to perform spacewalks. “There are some physical reasons that make it harder, sometimes, for women to do spacewalks,” he said at the media briefing. He argued that, like professional basketball, taller people were better, which tended to favor men.

“Spacewalks are one of those areas where just how your body is built and shaped, it makes a difference in how well you can work the suit,” he said. He added later that a “certain amount of strength” was needed that tended to favor men.

“We also brought women into the crews because of their brains,” he added. “By using their brains, they can overcome a lot of those physical challenges.”

Bridenstine, who earlier emphasized that NASA’s next-generation suits would be designed to fit a much broader range of both women and men to overcome of the male-centric design biases of older suits, stepped in. “I think it’s also important to note that there are physical attributes of women that make them better at spaceflight than men,” he said, such as lower intracranial pressure that has been linked to eyesight problems during long-duration spaceflight.

“There are biological benefits that women have that men do not have to microgravity spaceflight,” he continued. “When we do different missions, it’s going to take all of America to do it.”


Source: https://spacenews.com/nasa-astronauts-complete-repairs-on-historic-spacewalk/

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Odp: [AmericaSpace] On International Women's Day
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Październik 19, 2019, 21:50 »

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« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Październik 19, 2019, 22:06 »
Koch, Meir conclude first all-female spacewalk
October 18, 2019 William Harwood [SFN]


Astronaut Jessica Meir during Friday’s spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV/Spaceflight Now

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir carried out history’s first all-female spacewalk Friday, floating outside the International Space Station and successfully installing a 230-pound replacement battery charger in the lab’s solar power system. The historic excursion was carried out in a blaze of public interest that rose all the way to the White House.

“I just want to congratulate you, what you do is incredible,” President Trump told the spacewalkers in a surprise call from the White House. He was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, daughter Ivanka and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

“You’re very brave people, I don’t think I want to do it, I must tell you that,” the president said. “But you are amazing people. … Congratulations, Christina and Jessica, on this historic event.”

“Thank you,” Meir replied from orbit. “We don’t want to take too much credit because there have been many other female spacewalkers before us. This is just the first time there have been two women outside at the same time. … For us, this is really just us doing our job.

“At the same time, we recognize that it is an historic achievement and we do, of course, want to give credit to all those who came before us. There has been a long line of female scientists, explorers, engineers and astronauts, we are following in their footsteps to get us where we are today.”

The spacewalk began at 7:38 a.m. EDT when Koch, making her fourth excursion, and Meir, making her first, switched their spacesuits to battery power inside the Quest airlock, kicking off 221st station spacewalk since assembly began in 1998. It was the first by two women in the 54 years since the first “extra-vehicular activity,” or EVA, by a Russian cosmonaut in 1965, sparking widespread public interest.

Despite the unusual level of scrutiny, Friday’s spacewalk was a strictly-business affair to replace a faulty 232-pound battery charger in the lab’s solar power system. Any two of the space station’s four NASA sponsored astronauts could have done the work — they all received similar training — but Koch and Meir got the nod.

After floating out of the airlock, Koch promptly made her way to the left side of the station’s power truss, anchored her feet on the end of the lab’s robot arm and unbolted a spare battery controller. Meir, meanwhile, made her way outboard to the left-most solar array and prepared the faulty unit for removal from an equipment bay.

The two then teamed back up. Koch handed the controller off to Meir and got off the arm. The astronauts then carefully carried the spare out to the port 6, or P6, solar array segment work site more than 50 yards from the airlock. While such components do not weigh anything in the microgravity environment of low-Earth orbit, they still have the same mass, requiring care when starting and stopping motion.

But the spacewalkers had no problems, easily moving the bulky controller to the work site and installing it in place of the faulty unit. After an initial health check, flight controllers stood by while the system came back on line.

“Christina, Jessica, to give you a report on your work today, we show the battery charge-discharge unit is fully powered up and working,” astronaut Stephanie Wilson radioed from mission control toward the end of the seven-hour 17-minute spacewalk. ”

“That is awesome news, thank you,” Koch replied. Added Meir: “Amazing news, Stephanie. That makes us very happy.”



NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch. Credit: NASA

Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov carried out history’s first spacewalk in 1965. Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space during an outing with a male cosmonaut in 1984, followed later that year by NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan, who joined astronaut David Leestma for a shuttle spacewalk.

While NASA managers and even the astronauts tend to view the all-female spacewalk as “just another milestone,” it took on heightened significance in the wake of a spacesuit sizing problem earlier this year that forced the station crew to call off plans for Koch and astronaut Anne McClain to make the first all-female EVA.

The station now is equipped with components for four suits, accommodating all three of NASA’s crew members as well as European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano.

Koch and Meir already were paired up for one of five spacewalks to replace aging solar array batteries. But after two of those excursions, a battery charge-discharge unit, or BCDU, failed knocking a newly-installed battery off line.

While the remaining battery installation spacewalks were put on hold, NASA managers opted to keep the Koch-Meir pairing intact, assigning them instead to the BCDU change out.

“One of these days, working in space like that is going to be routine,” said former astronaut Ken Bowersox, now deputy chief of NASA’s human space program. “We won’t get together to celebrate an occasion when two women, or two men, or a man and a woman, or three or four go outside, it’ll just be routine.

“That’s what we’re doing on ISS, we’re gathering that experience that we need to make spaceflight routine so we can move farther out into our solar system, to go to the moon and on to Mars someday. That’s what excites me the most, to see that progress happening.”

The station’s electricity is provided by four huge solar wings, two on each end of a truss that stretches the length of a football field. Two dozen battery charge controllers, six per solar wing, divert electricity to powerful batteries for recharging when the lab is in sunlight and then deliver that stored power when the station moves through Earth’s shadow.

Replacing the faulty BCDU effectively restored 4 to 5 kilowatts of power to the lab’s electrical system that was lost when the original charger failed after 19 years of normal operation, knocking a newly-installed lithium-ion battery off line.

With the BCDU swap-out complete, Koch and Meir carried the faulty unit back to the airlock for eventual return to Earth aboard a future SpaceX Dragon cargo ship for troubleshooting and, if possible, repair.

They then carried out a few other, more routine tasks, adjusting multi-layer insulation around spare components to make access easier, securing an ethernet cable and installing a fitting on the European Space Agency’s Columbus laboratory module that will be needed when an experiment platform is attached later.

Because batteries lose their ability to recharge over time, NASA is in the process of replacing all 48 of the space station’s older-generation nickel-hydrogen batteries with 24 more powerful lithium-ion power packs, along with circuit-completing “adapter plates” to fill in for batteries that were removed but not replaced. In the upgraded system, each lithium-ion battery is charged and discharged by a single BCDU.

In 2017, spacewalkers replaced the 12 right-side inboard solar array batteries with six lithium-ion units. Last March, the 12 left-side inboard batteries were replaced. NASA currently is working to replace the left-side outboard batteries. The final set of lithium-ion batteries will be installed in the right-side outboard arrays next year

Three of six lithium-ion batteries were installed on the left outboard array during spacewalks Oct. 6 and 11 by Koch and Morgan. Shortly thereafter, engineers discovered one of the three BCDUs in that circuit had failed, sidelining one of the new batteries.

The failure is troubling because an identical charger failed last March after a new battery was installed for the left inboard array. NASA engineers want to make sure a generic problem of some sort is not present before proceeding with additional battery installations.


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/10/18/iss-eva-58/

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« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Styczeń 05, 2020, 18:25 »
Koch marks record stay in space for female astronaut
December 30, 2019 William Harwood [SFN]


NASA astronaut Christina Koch works with an experiment on the International Space Station in this Dec. 22 photo. Credit: NASA

Astronaut Christina Koch, launched to the International Space Station in March, marks her 289th day in space Saturday, breaking retired astronaut Peggy Whitson’s world record for the longest single spaceflight by a female.

Along the way, Koch has participated in four spacewalks, joining astronaut Jessica Meir for history’s first all-female excursion in October. She plans to venture back outside twice more in January, again teaming up with Meir, to complete installation of new solar array batteries.

When Koch returns to Earth Feb. 6, her time in space will stand at 328 days, just 12 shy of retired astronaut Mark Kelly’s U.S. single-flight record, set in 2016. The all-time record — 438 days — was set by cosmonaut Valery Polyakov in 1995. Whitson still holds the U.S. record for total time in space — nearly 666 days — over five flights.

“Records are made to be broken,” Whitson tweeted Saturday. “It is a sign of progress! Congrats @Astro_Christina”

“It’s a huge honor,” Koch said early Friday in an interview with “CBS This Morning.” “Peggy is a heroine of mine who’s also been kind enough to mentor me through the years. You know … it’s not so much how many days you’re up here, but what you do with each of those days. That reminds me to bring my best every single day.”

Koch holds a master’s in electrical engineering, is a veteran of multiple research tours in Antarctica and Greenland and helped design instruments at the Goddard Space Flight Center for NASA science probes in orbit around Earth and Jupiter. She and Meir were selected for NASA’s astronaut corps in 2013, joining a class made up of four men and four women.

“It’s a wonderful time for human spaceflight because I think we finally recognize that it’s not worth going unless we go together, that it’s important to not turn away any innovative idea, that everyone has a role and everyone has a place at the table as we move forward,” Koch said.

“If we’re going to go for all humanity and to support humanity’s love for exploration, then we have to do it with all humanity. And I think we’re seeing that as our plans unfold for going back to the moon, seeing the first woman walk on the moon in 2024, and just recognizing that we have to go together if we’re going to go, and we’re going to do it right.”

Koch became the 14th woman to walk in space last March 29 when she and Nick Hague worked to install a second set of solar array batteries. She originally was expected to venture outside with astronaut Anne McClain for the first all-female spacewalk, but Hague took McClain’s place because of a spacesuit sizing issue.

The all-female spacewalk finally happened on Oct. 18 when Koch and Meir, the 15th woman walk in space, ventured outside to replace a faulty battery charge-discharge unit. It was the first EVA by two women in the 54 years since the late Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov carried out history’s first spacewalk in 1965.

Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space during an excursion with a male cosmonaut in 1984. NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan followed suit later that year, joining astronaut David Leestma for a shuttle spacewalk.



NASA astronaut Christina Koch is pictured Feb. 27 during training inside a Russian Soyuz spacecraft before her launch to the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

“My class was … the first class that’s half female and half male, and we were never held to any different standards or expectations,” Koch told “CBS This Morning.” “Highlighting the fact that it was the first all-female EVA, spacewalk, is important because seeing those milestones be broken sort of tells people where we’re at and where we think that the importance lies.

“I think it’s inspiring because future space explorers do need to see people that remind them of themselves to kind of bring that inspiration home. I know that was certainly true for me and my background. So to have the opportunity to do that for future space explorers is a real honor.”

Asked about her most memorable moments in space, Koch said she enjoyed looking down on Michigan and North Carolina where she grew up, “but I would say the most awe-inspiring thing that I’ve ever seen is the northern lights or southern lights from above on a planetary scale.”

“I’ve had the opportunity working in Antarctica and the Arctic to see them from below and the beautiful, shimmering lights taking over the whole sky,” she said. “But to look down on the Earth and see the entire shape of the aurora as they form near the poles was truly an amazing sight and just literally took my breath away.”

Koch said she hopes setting a new single-flight endurance record will serve as a milestone to motivate others while pushing the boundaries of science because “that’s important for our future exploration … going to Mars and also returning to the moon and going there to stay.”

“But overall, I’d have to say that my number one hope for this milestone is that the record is exceeded again as soon as possible,” she said. “Because that means that we’re continuing to push the boundaries.”


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/30/koch-marks-record-stay-in-space-for-female-astronaut/

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« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: Styczeń 17, 2020, 07:12 »
Koch, Meir continue space station battery replacements on successful spacewalk
January 15, 2020 William Harwood [SFN]


Astronaut Christina Koch, seen through the helmet camera of crewmate Jessica Meir on Wednesday’s spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV/Spaceflight Now

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir floated back outside the International Space Station Wednesday for history’s second all-female spacewalk, installing two powerful new lithium-ion batteries on the far left end of the lab’s solar power truss.

The pair plan another spacewalk Monday to install a final battery, completing a four-spacewalk upgrade that began last year. A final set of batteries is scheduled for installation later this year.

Floating in the station’s Quest airlock, Meir and Koch switched their spacesuits to battery power a 6:35 a.m. EST, officially kicking off the 225th excursion devoted to station assembly and maintenance. It was Meir’s second spacewalk and the fifth for Koch, who is wrapping up a record 328-day stay in space.

“Beautiful view out here, Stephanie,” Meir radioed astronaut Stephanie Wilson in mission control.

The spacewalk proceeded smoothly from start to finish with only one problem of any significance: Koch’s helmet lights and camera assembly somehow came loose shortly after the excursion began.

Meir worked with flight controllers to come up with a way to re-attach it, but in the end, they decided to simply stow the assembly and press on without it. Koch had no problems, staying relatively close to Meir and her helmet lights during orbital darkness.

Spacewalk duration was seven hours and 29 minutes.

“The … ground team would like to thank you for your work today,” Wilson radioed when the spacewalk ended. “We made great progress towards upgrading the batteries. You’re both awesome. Nice work.”

“Thank you very much Stephanie, we love working with you,” Meir replied. “And it was truly amazing for Christina and me to be back out here today. We’ve been talking about it a lot, and it was really something we were looking forward to.”

NASA is in the process of replacing all 48 of the space station’s older-generation nickel-hydrogen batteries with 24 more powerful lithium-ion units, along with circuit-completing “adapter plates” to fill in for batteries that were removed but not replaced.

The new batteries are arranged in sets of six in integrated electronics assemblies, or IEAs, at the bases of the station’s four main solar array wings. Each wing is made up of two extendable blankets of solar cells and the electricity they generate is delivered throughout the station using eight electrical buses, or channels, two per IEA.

In 2017, spacewalkers replaced the 12 right-side inboard solar array batteries with six lithium-ion units. In March 2018, the 12 left-side inboard batteries were replaced by another six LiOH batteries. NASA currently is working to replace the 12 left-side outboard batteries. The final set of lithium-ion batteries will be installed in the right-side outboard IEA later this year.



NASA astronaut Christina Koch works with a spacesuit on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Koch and astronaut Drew Morgan installed three of the left outboard array’s six lithium-ion batteries and adapter plates last Oct. 6 and 11. But shortly thereafter, engineers discovered one of the three battery charge-discharge units in that circuit had failed after 19 years of service, sidelining one of the new batteries.

Koch and Meir staged the first all-female spacewalk last Oct. 18, removing the failed BCDU and installing a replacement. The faulty unit was returned to Earth earlier this month aboard a SpaceX Cygnus cargo capsule. The device will be refurbished and re-launched on a future resupply mission.

In the meantime, with the BCDU swap-out complete, NASA managers opted to press ahead with three higher-priority spacewalks by Morgan and Luca Parmitano in November and December to repair the cooling system in a $2 billion cosmic ray detector mounted on the solar power truss. A fourth spacewalk is planned Jan. 25 to verify the repairs and to re-install insulation.

Koch and Meir were assigned to complete the left-side outboard battery replacements during another two spacewalks. During Wednesday’s excursion the astronauts, running ahead of schedule, removed four older nickel-hydrogen batteries — one more than planned — and installed two new lithium-ion units and one adapter plate.

If all goes well, Koch and Meir will finish the job Monday, removing two remaining nickel-hydrogen batteries and installing the final lithium-ion power pack needed by the station’s left-side outboard set of solar arrays.


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/15/iss-us-eva-62/

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« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: Styczeń 18, 2020, 08:06 »
What the 2010s taught us about women in space
by Inga Popovaite — January 14, 2020 [SN]


Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir conducted the first all-female spacewalk in October 2019. The two astronauts are slated to make two more all-female spacewalks by the end of January 2020. Credit: NASA

Is the future of spaceflight female?

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir captured the world’s attention with their historic all-woman spacewalk at the end of 2019. The 2020s is beginning with the duo scheduled to repeat their historic first twice more by the end of January. Is the future of spaceflight female?

If popular culture mirrors society, it is clear society craves more women in science, engineering, and space — not in skimpy skirts and silent roles, but as central characters that drive the story. Hidden Figures, a 2016 movie based on the book by the same name, told us the forgotten story of three African American women who helped launch John Glenn into orbit during America’s Jim Crow era.

Half a century later, their contributions finally got the recognition they deserve: the movie was nominated for three Oscar awards in 2017, the street in front of NASA’s headquarters in Washington was renamed Hidden Figures Way last summer, and Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson received Congressional Gold Medals last fall.

During the 2010s, the Hollywood blockbusters Interstellar, Gravity, and Arrival all featured women in leading roles as scientists and astronauts. For All Mankind, an Apple TV+ show that debuted last fall, and the Lady Astronaut book series imagine alternate historical timelines where women astronauts were on board from the start.

The real world has also moved away from the notion that women are unfit for spaceflight. The ratio of women among new astronaut trainees doubled from 20 percent in the 2000s (nine out of 46) to 47 percent in the 2010s (nine out of 19). Commercial astronaut instructor Beth Moses became the first woman on a commercial spaceflight aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo last February. In October, NASA astronauts Meir and Koch replaced a broken battery charger outside of the International Space Station during the first all-woman spacewalk. Two more such spacewalks are scheduled before Koch, who has been on ISS since March, returns to Earth in February.

The progress NASA has made during the last decade has not been without hiccups. The first all-woman spacewalk was originally supposed to happen last March with Koch joined by Anne McClain instead of Meir. However, the all-female EVA was canceled due to a shortage of spacewalk suits in the needed size at the ISS. Only one medium-sized upper body torso was readily available on the ISS. McClain had worn a large torso on a previous spacewalk, but sizing up would have impacted McClain’s arms reach needed for the scheduled task. She decided to let her colleague, Nick Hague, take the large suit — and her place in the scheduled spacewalk. McClain returned to Earth last June.

In early 2018, Jeannette Epps was was slated to become the first African American ISS crew member. However, she was removed from the mission still  unexplained reasons several months prior to the scheduled launch. Serena Aunon-Chancellor, who was originally scheduled for a later ISS rotation, took Epps’ place.

During the 2010s, NASA was often in the spotlight — either as a diversity pioneer, or as a hindrance. Some were not too happy about this. Marsha Ivins, a retired astronaut who flew five space missions between 1990 and 2001, spoke against what she called “the obsession with gender-diverse space crews.” She argued that NASA had  long since moved away from outright sexism or complete inability to accommodate women (for example, by not knowing enough about female hygiene products). “We’ve been sending gender-diverse crews to space since 1983. We’ve had women do every job a man does in space,” she wrote in Time Magazine last summer.

Ivins is correct that women have had the same roles as men during spaceflights. Nevertheless, women are still highly underrepresented in space. There has been essentially no change in the gender ratio at the International Space Station in its nearly 20 years of continuous occupation: women comprised 12 percent of the International Space Station population over the course of the 2000s, and 11 percent in the 2010s. Even if women had the spotlight and the same roles as men, they remained a minority in orbit.

Astronauts are the face of the space program, but NASA has been doing diversity work behind the scenes as well. Senior officials publicly supported the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. In 2014, NASA instituted guidelines to accommodate employees undergoing gender transition, and LGBTQ individuals have been included in their nondiscrimination policy since 2016.

NASA has been voted as the best place to work eight years in a row, and is leading other big federal employers in its support for diversity. However, it is still a relatively homogeneous workplace. The majority of NASA employees, as in all federal STEM jobs, are white (72 percent) and male (66 percent). Women and ethnic and racial minorities, except Asian Americans, are underrepresented at NASA in comparison to the general population; the biggest gaps are among women (34 percent at NASA vs 51 percent in the population) and Hispanic Americans (8 percent vs.16 percent). There is even less diversity at the top: 86 percent of senior employees are men, and 84 percent are white, while women and minorities are more likely to have lower-level administrative positions.

This lack of diversity, especially among leadership, leads to decisions that are more likely to reflect the lived experiences and perspectives of white men than of underrepresented populations. The spacesuit mishap that delayed the first all-women spacewalk is an example of this unintentional bias. Female astronauts are smaller on average, and thus more likely to use the medium-size torso unit, the smallest size that NASA currently offers. Male astronauts are more likely to use bigger sizes; the International Space Station had two large, but not two medium-size, torso units ready to go. NASA has already learned its lesson — the next generation of highly customizable spacesuits, able to accommodate anyone from “the first percentile female to the 99th percentile male,” will replace those designed with the average man in mind.

A need for a spacesuit that fits is just one example of how women are overlooked in an environment designed for men. In addition, the waste disposal system on the International Space Station is ill-suited to handle menstrual blood and waste; most astronauts opt for contraception to skip periods altogether. Ironically, the sample of female astronauts is too small for a robust clinical trial of hormonal contraception and its effects in a space environment.

Female and male bodies differ in many ways, and so does their physiological adaptation to radiation, microgravity, and other space perils. We know a lot about how space affects males, but not females. This is one of the areas where the space program should focus. The call to study sex differences in orbit might make progressive readers skeptical: we are still far from undoing the damages done by popular psychology’s claims that women and men differ in math or verbal skills. There is no direct link between gender and math skills, but this stereotype remains one of the challenges faced by women in STEM.

In the 2020s, NASA should build on the progress it has made on diversity and inclusion by redoubling efforts to understand its women astronauts and why men still outnumber them nine to one on ISS crew logs. More attention should be paid to how women respond to the rigors of spaceflight and experience the agency’s institutional culture.

Space systems designers should abandon one-size-fits-most approach, where females are seen as a deviation from the male standard. Physiological sex differences should instead be treated as important variables.

Simultaneously, NASA should listen to the experiences of women and minority employees, and work toward becoming truly inclusive, from its astronauts to its engineers and executives. Making space for everyone takes time, but it is worth the effort.

And it is about more than just fair representation: women might be better suited for a long-term spaceflight than men. Women are generally smaller and need fewer calories, they are socialized to be more interpersonal, and suffer less from some spaceflight effects. While flying all-women crews is unlikely — NASA briefly considered it in 1999 — having more women is certainly beneficial for the U.S. space program.


Inga Popovaite is a sociology Ph.D. candidate at the University of Iowa. She studies group interactions in space analog environments with a focus on emotions, status hierarchy, and gender. Follow her on Twitter: @inga_pop.

Source: https://spacenews.com/what-the-2010s-taught-us-about-women-in-space/

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« Odpowiedź #8 dnia: Styczeń 25, 2020, 14:39 »
Spacewalkers complete another round of solar array battery replacements
January 20, 2020 William Harwood [SFN]
EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) Monday.
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS & USED WITH PERMISSION


Astronaut Jessica Meir is seen near the end of Monday’s spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV / Spaceflight Now

It took NASA more than 50 years to stage its first all-female spacewalk last October. It took three months before the second on Jan. 15 and just five days more for the third on Monday, a successful six-hour 58-minute excursion to finish installing a set of new solar array batteries aboard the International Space Station.

Floating in the station’s Quest airlock compartment, Jessica Meir and Christina Koch switched their spacesuits to battery power at 6:35 a.m. EST to officially kick off their third spacewalk together, the 226th devoted to station assembly and maintenance.

Once outside, the astronauts quickly made their way to the outermost set of solar arrays on the left, or port, side of the station’s power truss. Over the next five-and-a-half hours or so, they completed work started during spacewalks last year to install new lithium-ion batteries, replacing less powerful nickel-hydrogen units.

The astronauts had no problems completing the work. The only departure from the timeline came near the end of the spacewalk when the hand controller of Koch’s emergency jet pack unexpectedly worked its way out of its housing.

Meir was able to restow the controller, but then ran into problems folding up a foot restraint. After a bit of troubleshooting, she managed to get it put away. Flight controllers then opted to forego a minor get-ahead task and the astronauts headed back to the airlock, repressurizing at 1:33 p.m. to close out the excursion.

After thanking flight controllers for their help preparing and executing the battery upgrade spacewalks, Meir took a moment to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr. Day from orbit.

“This has really been an amazing experience,” she said from the airlock. “Today is also Martin Luther King Day, a personal hero to both me and Christina. (I offer his) wise words for this moment: ‘We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.’ When one has the spectacular view that we had today, looking down on our one common home, planet Earth, his words resonate loudly.”

Added Koch: “We often say how much we owe to those that paved the way, and that doesn’t just mean in space flight. It also means those who work for civil rights and inclusion and who know how important it is. That’s why it’s so meaningful for us today to be out here on the day we honor Martin Luther King Jr., who paved the way not only for us, but for so many that have a dream.”



NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir work with their spacesuits Jan. 13 in the Quest airlock on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Koch, wrapping up a record 328-day stay aboard the station, has now walked in space six times, logging a total of 42 hours and 15 minutes outside the lab complex since arriving in orbit last March. Meir’s mark stands at 21 hours and 44 minutes through three outings, all with Koch.

NASA is in the process of replacing 48 older-generation nickel-hydrogen batteries in the station’s solar power system with 24 more powerful lithium-ion units, along with circuit-completing “adapter plates” to fill in for batteries that were removed but not replaced.

During spacewalks in 2017 and 2018, astronauts replaced half the NiH2 power packs with 12 Li-ion units. During two spacewalks last October, Koch and Drew Morgan installed three of the left outboard array’s six lithium-ion batteries.

Shortly thereafter, however, engineers discovered one of three battery charge controllers in that circuit had failed, sidelining one of the new batteries. Koch and Meir then staged the first all-female spacewalk last Oct. 18, removing the failed controller and installing a replacement.

Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space during an outing with a male cosmonaut in 1984, followed later that year by NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan, who joined astronaut David Leestma for a spacewalk during a shuttle mission.

“I think we do recognize it is a historical achievement, it does carry a lot of weight to other people,” Meir said of the first all-female spacewalk. “It really does mean a great deal to share this experience together and hopefully, it does inspire and educate those that will follow us.”

With the battery charge controller in place, Koch and Meir pressed ahead with the battery replacement work Jan. 15, removing four older nickel-hydrogen batteries and installing two new lithium-ion units and one adapter plate.

During Monday’s spacewalk, the women removed the two remaining nickel-hydrogen batteries and installed the final lithium-ion battery needed by the station’s left-side outboard set of solar arrays.

When the completion of Monday’s spacewalk, station astronauts have now replaced 36 of the lab’s original 48 nickel-hydrogen power packs with 18 more powerful lithium-ion units. The batteries are housed in electronics assemblies at the base of the left and right inboard arrays and the left-side outboard array.

A final set of lithium-ion batteries will be installed in the right-side outboard set of arrays later this year.

NASA now plans to press ahead with yet another spacewalk Jan. 25, this one with Morgan and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, to complete cooling system repairs of a $2 billion cosmic ray detector. The repairs were carried out during three spacewalks last November and December, but a fourth outing is needed to verify the system is leak free and to re-install insulation.


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/20/iss-eva-63/

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« Odpowiedź #9 dnia: Luty 06, 2020, 17:42 »
Koch heads home after record-setting mission
February 5, 2020 William Harwood [SFN]
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS & USED WITH PERMISSION


Astronaut Christina Koch, Soyuz commander Alexander Skvortsov and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano sit inside the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft for pre-landing checks. Credit: NASA

Christina Koch, veteran of six spacewalks outside the International Space Station — including the first all-female excursion — will join a Russian commander and an Italian flight engineer for a fiery plunge back to Earth early Thursday, setting a new world record for the longest single flight by a female astronaut.

While she did not set out to be a role model when she applied to join NASA’s astronaut corp, she’s happy to do whatever she can to inspire young people to pursue their dreams, helping them “kind of tune in and pay attention” to the opportunities opening up in space.

“And then the second aspect of that is inspiration,” she said in a space-to-ground interview Tuesday with CBS News. “I think some people draw inspiration from milestones and from things that they’ve seen someone work hard to achieve.

“So I hope that those two things together, outreach and inspiration, make it worth all the talk about these different things that we’ve had the honor to do.”

Strapped into the center seat of the cramped Soyuz MS-13/59S ferry ship, commander Alexander Skvortsov, flanked on the left by Italian co-pilot Luca Parmitano and on the right by Koch, planned to undock from the space station’s upper Poisk module at 12:50 a.m. EST Thursday.

Monitoring the departure from inside the lab complex will be Expedition 62 commander Oleg Skripochka and Koch’s spacewalking partners, astronauts Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan.

After moving a safe distance away, Skvortsov plans to oversee an automated rocket firing starting at 3:18 a.m., a four-minute 38-second braking “burn” intended to slow the ship by about 286 mph. That’s just enough to drop the far side of the spacecraft’s orbit deep into the atmosphere, setting up a landing on the snowy steppe of Kazakhstan.

About a half hour later, after jettisoning the ship’s no-longer-needed lower propulsion module and upper orbital compartment, the crew module is expected to slam back into the discernible atmosphere around 3:49 a.m. at an altitude of 62 miles.

Twenty-three minutes later, descending under a large orange-and-white parachute, the crew compartment will settle to a jarring rocket-assisted touchdown at 4:12 a.m. (3:12 p.m. local time) near the town of Dzhezkazgan.

While hitting the atmosphere at nearly five miles per second and enduring re-entry temperatures around 2,000 degrees would be daunting to most, Koch said the Soyuz spacecraft is one of the most reliable ever built.

“Also my friends all tell me that the ride under the parachutes is the ride of your life,” she added. “So if you just look at it like that, like it’s really fun, then you’ll have a great time and you’ll be fine.”

She’s especially looking forward to “seeing the plasma go by on the window when we’re actually doing re-entry and the G’s are starting to hit. I think that will really make it feel real, that I’m actually coming back from space.”



NASA astronaut Christina Koch floats aboard the International Space Station wearing her Russian Sokol launch and entry spacesuit. Credit: NASA

Russian recovery crews, along with NASA and European Space Agency flight surgeons and support personnel, will be stationed nearby to help the returning station fliers out of the Soyuz for initial medical checks, traditional fresh fruit and satellite phone calls home to family and friends.

From the landing site, all three crew members will be flown by helicopter to Karaganda. From there, Skvortsov will take a Russian jet back to Star City near Moscow while Koch and Parmitano fly on to Cologne, Germany, aboard a NASA plane. Parmitano will get off there and Koch will continue on to Houston for debriefing and rehabilitation.


AFTER 11 MONTHS IN SPACE, READJUSTING TO GRAVITY

Koch grew up in Jacksonville, N.C., and now lives near the Johnson Space Center in Houston. She holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering and is an experienced surfer who enjoys backpacking and rock climbing. Despite daily exercise sessions during her mission, readjusting to gravity after 328 days in the weightless environment of space will take weeks.

“Everyone says that getting back into gravity is such a surprise because you suddenly have to actually work to raise your own arms and of course your legs,” Koch said. “They say that when the G’s first start to hit as you’re coming through the layers of the atmosphere, that even when you’re at point two of a G, essentially, you can already feel it, it already feels so, so heavy.

“So I think that will be definitely something to get used to. I haven’t had to hold up even my own body weight in a long time, so we’ll see how that goes.”

For Skvortsov and Parmitano, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 20, landing will close out a voyage spanning 200 days 16 hours and 44 minutes, covering 3,216 orbits and 85.2 million miles. Including two earlier station visits, Skvortsov’s total time in space will stand at 546 days while Parmitano’s total over two flights will total 367 days.

Koch was already aboard the station when Skvortsov and Parmitano arrived. With landing Thursday, her time off planet will stand at 328 days 13 hours and 58 minutes, the longest single flight by a female astronaut or cosmonaut. Her voyage covered 5,248 orbits and 139 million miles.

Asked what she will miss the most about life in space, Koch said “number one, hands down,” is her crewmates.

“We are like family, we support each other, we work together, we have the same dreams and it’s been awesome to basically get to know another set of people outside my own family on Earth so well.

“And I think definitely the other thing I’m going to miss the most, is being able to do this whenever I want,” she said, flipping around in weightlessness. “Microgravity is a lot of fun. I haven’t actually put my feet down or walked in a long time, and it’s really fun to be in a place where you can just bounce around between the ceiling and the floor whenever you want.”



From left to right, astronauts Christina Koch, Andrew Morgan (rear), Luca Parmitano and Jessica Meir. Credit: NASA

As for what she’s looking forward to the most back on Earth, her husband, family and friends ranks at the top of the list. After that? Enjoying the outdoors.

“I live near the beach and I absolutely love the water, so hopefully going for a swim or a surf or just walking my dog on the beach, feeling the sand, feeling the wind,” she said. “Those are things that you can’t really replicate up here, so I can’t wait to be out in nature.”

She did not have long to wait, with landing targeted for the snow-covered steppe of Kazakhstan where temperatures hovered in the mid 20s and the wind chill was around 14 degrees.

While very different from the controlled environment aboard the space station, cold weather was nothing new to Koch, who spent multiple winters in Antarctica and Greenland as a research engineer with Johns Hopkins University and the national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before joining NASA’s astronaut corps in 2013.


A RECORD STAY IN SPACE

Koch’s record flight is just 12 days short of the U.S. single-flight endurance record set by former astronaut Scott Kelly. She now ranks No. 7 on the list of most experienced NASA astronauts and 50th in the world.

During her stay aboard the station, Koch participated in six spacewalks totaling 42 hours and 15 minutes. She and Meir carried out the first all-female spacewalk last Oct. 18, replacing a faulty solar array battery charge controller, and two more on Jan. 15 and 20 to complete work started last year to replace a set of solar array batteries.

During their historic first spacewalk together, “we caught each other’s eye and we knew that we were really honored with this opportunity to inspire so many,” Koch said in a NASA interview. “And just hearing our voices talk to mission control, knowing two female voices had never been on the loops, solving those problems together outside, it was a really special feeling.”

Koch’s record-setting mission began on March 14 when she blasted off aboard the Soyuz MS-12/58S spacecraft with commander Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague.



The Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft approaches the International Space Station for docking July 20 with Alexander Skvortsov, Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan on-board. Credit: NASA

Ovchinin and Hague endured a dramatic launch abort the previous October when their booster suffered a catastrophic failure two minutes after liftoff. Instead of reaching orbit, the Soyuz executed an emergency landing, touching down safely about 250 miles from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

U.S. and Russian station managers opted to send Ovchinin and Hague back up last March, adding Koch to the Soyuz MS-12/58S crew. NASA eventually extended the missions of both Koch and Morgan, re-assigning her to Morgan’s original seat aboard the Soyuz MS-13/59S spacecraft for the trip back to Earth Thursday.

Morgan’s stay aboard the station was extended to April 17 when he will return to Earth with Skripochka and Meir aboard their Soyuz MS-15/61S ferry ship. They will be replaced by NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin, scheduled for launch April 9 aboard the Soyuz MS-16/62S spacecraft.


COMMERCIAL CREW LAUNCH DELAYS LEAVE STATION WITH REDUCED CREW

That will be the first of just two Soyuz missions in 2020, both flights carrying just one NASA astronaut each. The Russians scaled back the Soyuz flight rate anticipating the long-planned debut of new commercially developed crew ferry ships being built by SpaceX and Boeing.

But NASA’s commercial crew program has encountered multiple delays due to funding shortfalls and technical issues, and it’s not yet known when the first commercial crew ship will reach the station.

SpaceX is expected to be the first off the pad with a Crew Dragon capsule, carrying NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, taking off sometime this spring.

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner is expected to fly a piloted test flight of its own later this year. NASA is still evaluating the results of an unpiloted test flight last December in which a timing problem prevented a planned docking with the space station. It’s not yet known if a reflight will be required.

But getting one or both spacecraft off the ground as soon as possible is critical for NASA and the International Space Station. With just one NASA astronaut — Cassidy — aboard starting April 17 when Skripochka, Meir and Morgan depart, research will be extremely limited and non-emergency spacewalks will be on indefinite hold.

“By the plan, we have a short handover period with the previous Soyuz (crew),” Cassidy said. “So we’ll overlap there, but then we’re just the three of us until we undock (in October). With luck, we’ll have a commercial crew, whichever one it is, but we’ll have some visitors, and we’ll be excited for that.”

In any case, Cassidy, Tikhonov and Babkin are trained to handle the station on their own through the end of their flight in late October when a fresh three-person crew, including another NASA astronaut, is expected to arrive.

“We’re … ready operationally, mentally prepared, to just be the three of us on the space station, which will be a change in operations from what we’re used to today (with) six people,” Cassidy told reporters during a briefing last November.

“There’ll be less available crew hours (for science), because you still have to devote your baseline number of hours per week or whatever to keeping the thing running. So it’ll be (a) change in philosophy and how we manage crew time. But the goal is still the same, to maximize science hours and research, and we’ll do our best to do that.”


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/05/koch-heads-home-after-record-setting-mission/

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Odp: [AmericaSpace] On International Women's Day
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Luty 06, 2020, 17:43 »
Koch and crewmates back on Earth
February 6, 2020 William Harwood [SFN]
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS & USED WITH PERMISSION


NASA astronaut Christina Koch is helped from the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft after landing in Kazakhstan Thursday. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Christina Koch, veteran of six spacewalks outside the International Space Station — including the first all-female excursion — joined a Russian commander and an Italian flight engineer for a fiery plunge to landing in frigid Kazakhstan early Thursday, setting a new record for the longest single flight by a female.

Strapped into the center seat of their cramped Soyuz MS-13/59S ferry ship, commander Alexander Skvortsov, flanked on the left by Italian co-pilot Luca Parmitano and on the right by Koch, undocked from the space station’s upper Poisk module at 12:50 a.m. EST.

Looking on from inside the station were Expedition 62 commander Oleg Skripochka and Koch’s two spacewalking partners, Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan.

After moving a safe distance away, Skvortsov monitored an automated rocket firing starting at 3:18 a.m., a four-minute 38-second braking “burn” that slowed the ship by about 286 mph. That was just enough to drop the far side of the spacecraft’s orbit deep into the atmosphere, setting up a landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan.

About a half hour later, after discarding the ship’s no-longer-needed lower propulsion module and upper orbital compartment, the central crew compartment, the only one with a protective heat shield, slammed back into the discernible atmosphere at an altitude of 62 miles. The ship quickly decelerated, briefly enduring re-entry temperatures up to 3,000 degrees as it descended.

Twenty-three minutes later, suspended under a large orange-and-white parachute, the crew compartment settled to a jarring rocket-assisted touchdown at 4:12 a.m. (3:12 p.m. local time) near the town of Dzhezkazgan.



The Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft landed on the remote steppe of Kazakhstan Thursday. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Russian recovery crews, along with NASA and European Space Agency flight surgeons and support personnel, were stationed nearby and were quickly on the scene to help the returning station fliers out of the Soyuz as they began re-adjusting to the unfamiliar effects of gravity. All three appeared in excellent health, smiling broadly and waving to ground crews as they were pulled from the capsule.

Returning to the bite of sub-freezing temperatures and a foot of snow, all three were carried to nearby recliners and bundled in blankets for initial medical checks, traditional fresh fruit and satellite phone calls home to family and friends.

No stranger to cold weather, Koch spent multiple winters in Antarctica and Greenland as a research engineer with Johns Hopkins University and the national Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before joining NASA’s astronaut corps in 2013. But the veteran surfer said before leaving the station that she was most looking forward to a walk on the beach back home in south Texas.

“I live near the beach and I absolutely love the water, so hopefully going for a swim or a surf or just walking my dog on the beach, feeling the sand, feeling the wind,” she said. “Those are things that you can’t really replicate up here, so I can’t wait to be out in nature.”

From the landing site, all three crew members were be flown by helicopter to Karaganda. From there, Skvortsov will take a Russian jet back to Star City near Moscow while Koch and Parmitano fly on to Cologne, Germany, aboard a NASA plane. Parmitano will get off there and Koch will continue on to Houston for debriefing and rehabilitation.

“Everyone says that getting back into gravity is such a surprise because you suddenly have to actually work to raise your own arms and of course your legs,” Koch said. “So I think that will be definitely something to get used to. I haven’t had to hold up even my own body weight in a long time, so we’ll see how that goes.”

For Skvortsov and Parmitano, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 20, landing closed out a voyage spanning 200 days 16 hours and 44 minutes, covering 3,216 orbits and 85.2 million miles. Including two earlier station visits, Skvortsov’s total time in space now stands at 546 days while Parmitano’s total over two flights is 367 days.



NASA astronaut Christina Koch, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano sit in recliners after being extracted from the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Koch was launched to the station in March and was already on board when Skvortsov and Parmitano arrived. With landing Thursday, her time off planet stands at 328 days 13 hours and 58 minutes, the longest single flight by a female astronaut or cosmonaut.

Her voyage covered 5,248 orbits and 139 million miles and was just 12 days short of the U.S. single-flight endurance record set by former astronaut Scott Kelly. She now ranks No. 7 on the list of most experienced NASA astronauts and 50th in the world.

During her stay aboard the station, Koch participated in six spacewalks totaling 42 hours and 15 minutes. She and Meir carried out the first all-female spacewalk last Oct. 18, replacing a faulty solar array battery charge controller, and two more on Jan. 15 and 20 to complete work started last year to replace a set of solar array batteries.

During their historic first spacewalk together, “we caught each other’s eye and we knew that we were really honored with this opportunity to inspire so many,” Koch said in a NASA interview. “And just hearing our voices talk to mission control, knowing two female voices had never been on the (audio) loops, solving those problems together outside, it was a really special feeling.”

When the departure of Koch and her crewmates, Skripochka, Meir and Morgan will have the space station to themselves until April 9 when three fresh crew members — NASA’s Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin — arrive aboard the Soyuz MS-16/62S spacecraft.

After an eight-day handover, Skripochka, Meir and Morgan will return to Earth to close out a 204-day mission. From that point forward, the station will be staffed by just three crew members, two Russians and one American, until new commercial crew ships built by SpaceX and Boeing begin crew rotation flights later this year.


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/06/koch-and-crewmates-back-on-earth/

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Odp: [AmericaSpace] On International Women's Day
« Odpowiedź #11 dnia: Luty 13, 2020, 08:45 »
Christina Koch having no problems re-adapting to Earth after record space flight
February 12, 2020 William Harwood [SFN]


Astronaut Christina Koch after landing in Kazakhstan on Feb. 6. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Astronaut Christina Koch, six days after returning from a record 11-month stay aboard the International Space Station, said Wednesday she’s re-adapting to gravity with no major problems, enjoying family life, an initial trip to the beach, playing with her dog “LBD” and a kitchen packed with chips and salsa, a favorite food in short supply aboard the station.

“I feel great,” she told reporters at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “I’m really fortunate, a lot of people … when you’re re-adapting to one G (gravity) on Earth, you might experience some motion sickness and things like that. I’m really fortunate in that I have not experienced that. What I have noticed is that my balance has taken a little while to get used to.”

She also has experienced a bit of soreness in muscles that she didn’t use as much in weightlessness, including a sore neck for about a day that made her feel “like a two-week old, actually working hard to hold up my own head.” But overall, she added, “it’s been a pretty easy transition.”

Along with the physical sensations of living once again on the surface of a planet, pulled down by the unfamiliar tug of gravity, Koch said she marveled at the “sensory experiences that define Earth and the things that are here.”

“Within the first two minutes of being back on Earth, I saw more people’s faces that I had seen in a year,” she said. “So that was really exciting, it’s just fun to interact with people again.”

And then there were the chips and salsa. Before leaving the space station, Koch mentioned in an interview that she was particularly looking forward to the crunchy, more spicy snack after a previous crewmate, who ordered a modest supply of salsa, departed.

“I was really lucky because I had a couple people provide gifts, so I came home to a kitchen full of chips and salsa, which was really exciting, even some homemade salsa from some of my neighbors. So it was really neat to see that people had kind of honed in on that. The little things in life on Earth that we all take for granted are kind of the special things that I got to come home to.”

Including her dog, LBD.

“We call her LBD, little brown dog, she’s from the Humane Society and she couldn’t be sweeter,” Koch said. “And yes, she was very excited, I was very excited, I’m not sure who was more excited! … You know it’s just a symbol of coming back to the people and places that you love, to see your favorite animal.””



Cytuj
Christina H Koch@Astro_Christina
And then there was this.
Twitter

Koch, who holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering, was launched to the station March 14, 2019. Shortly after she reached the lab complex, NASA managers announced they were extending her mission, in part because of delays launching U.S. commercial crew ships being built by Boeing and SpaceX.

During her stay aboard the station, Koch participated in six spacewalks totaling 42 hours and 15 minutes. She and astronaut Jessica Meir carried out the first all-female spacewalk last Oct. 18, replacing a faulty solar array battery charge controller. The two women carried out two more joint outings on Jan. 15 and 20 to complete battery replacement work that was started last year.

Koch returned to Earth with Soyuz MS-13/59S commander Alexander Skvortsov and Italian flight engineer Luca Parmitano on Feb. 6, landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan to wrap up a flight spanning 328 days 13 hours and 58 minutes, the longest single space voyage by a female astronaut or cosmonaut.

Her flight covered 5,248 orbits and 139 million miles and was just 12 days short of the U.S. single-flight endurance record set by former astronaut Scott Kelly. She now ranks No. 7 on the list of most experienced NASA astronauts and 50th in the world.

“It is a great honor,” Koch said of her record. “My biggest hope is that it’s exceeded as soon as possible. That means we’re pushing the boundaries, more people are living up to their dreams and their potential. So my main message to anyone who has a dream is to follow your passions. Be true to yourself, do what you love and live the life that you’ve imagined for yourself.”

NASA is currently is focused on sending sending the first woman and the next man to the surface of the moon by the end of 2024. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said those initial moonwalkers will be selected from NASA’s current pool of astronauts who have lived and worked aboard the International Space Station.

Koch said she would happily go if called upon.

“Of course, me or anyone in our office would be honored beyond measure to be a part of that mission and to again carry people’s dreams even farther into space,” she said. “I am just excited that I’ll probably know the first woman and the next man to walk on the surface of the moon, but any of us would be ready and honored to accept that mission if it were offered to us.”


Source: https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/02/12/christina-koch-having-no-problems-re-adapting-to-earth-after-record-space-flight/

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Odp: [AmericaSpace] On International Women's Day
« Odpowiedź #12 dnia: Luty 16, 2020, 23:45 »
Christina Koch Returns to Earth After Longest Ever Spaceflight by a Woman
By Ben Evans, on February 6th, 2020


Astronaut Christina Koch smiles as she gives a “thumbs up” sign shortly after being extracted from the Soyuz MS-13 crew ship that brought her home after 328 days in space. Credit: NASA TV

A new record for the longest single space mission ever undertaken by a woman was triumphantly set earlier today (Thursday, 6 February), when NASA’s Christina Koch returned safely to Earth aboard Soyuz MS-13, a few weeks shy of a full year since she left Earth for her off-planet home on the International Space Station (ISS).

Flying shoulder-to-shoulder with seasoned Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Skvortsov and Italy’s most experienced astronaut Luca Parmitano, Koch touched down near Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 3:12 p.m. local time (4:12 a.m. EST) to complete a voyage of 328 days, in which she orbited Earth 5,248 times, a journey of 139 million miles, roughly the equivalent of 291 trips to the Moon and back.



During her 11-month mission, Christina Koch completed six sessions of Extravehicular Activity (EVA), putting her in third place on the list of most experienced female space walkers. Photo Credit: NASA

In doing so, she surpasses Peggy Whitson, the previous single-mission female record-holder and establishes herself in seventh place on the list of most experienced U.S. spacefarers, slightly ahead of fellow astronaut Suni Williams. And more significantly, she set this record on the very first mission of her astronaut career.

Selected as a member of NASA’s 2013 astronaut class—the first-ever to include a 50-50 representative split between men and women—Koch completed her initial training two years later. She launched to space last 14 March aboard Soyuz MS-12, joined by Russia’s Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, who had themselves been “recycled” from the harrowing Soyuz MS-10 launch abort in October 2018. As detailed by AmericaSpace, plans were afoot even before Koch’s launch that she might undertake an expedition longer than the nominal six months, partly due to the need to open up a seat in the returning Soyuz MS-12 descent module for United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Hazza al-Mansouri at the end of his eight-day flight in October 2019. Official confirmation of the mission extension for Koch was made by NASA in April 2019.





During the course of almost 11 months in space, she performed six spacewalks—totaling 42 hours and 15 minutes, including the historic first-ever all-female Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and establishing her as the third most experienced woman spacewalker, after Whitson and Williams—and supported around 210 research investigations aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Koch’s time aloft has spanned three discrete expeditions and she spent time with 11 crewmates, including spacefarers from Canada, Italy and the UAE.

Koch’s landing after 328 days falls just a dozen days shy of the empirical single-flight U.S. record of 340 days, set by former shuttle and ISS commander Scott Kelly at the end of his year-long mission in March 2016. And whilst most station crews spend an average of between six and seven months aboard the sprawling multi-national outpost, just a handful—Kelly, Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko and Koch herself—have gone on to undertake longer stays approaching a full year. In the cases of both Whitson and Koch, they were informed of their mission extensions whilst on-orbit.



Sally Ride at work on Challenger’s flight deck during STS-7. Her mission opened the door for U.S. women to venture into orbit. Photo Credit: NASA

Women, of course, have been busily setting records off-Earth for almost six decades, ever since Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova—the “ordinary” factory worker who went on to accomplish one of the 20th century’s most “extraordinary” feats—became the first female spacefarer aboard Vostok 6 in June 1963. She still holds the record for having completed the only solo female space mission.

But Tereshkova’s flight was part of a cynical political campaign of “space stunts” and one-off spectaculars. Not until August 1982 and the flight of Svetlana Savitskaya aboard Soyuz T-7 to the Salyut 7 space station would another Soviet woman voyage into space. Savitskaya went on to become the first woman to log two missions when she flew aboard Soyuz T-12 in July 1984, becoming the world’s first female spacewalker in the process. She might have gone on to fly the first all-female space mission, another political stunt timed to coincide with International Women’s Day in early 1986, but it was ultimately canceled.



On Mission 41G, Kathy Sullivan became the first U.S. female spacewalker. Photo Credit: NASA

By the time Savitskaya flew, America had selected a group of six women as part of its first class of shuttle-era astronauts. In June 1983 aboard Challenger for STS-7, Sally Ride became the first U.S. woman in space and on STS-41G in October 1984 she flew a second time, oining Kathy Sullivan who performed America’s first female spacewalkj. But whereas Russia has seen few of its own female spacefarers—Yelena Kondakova became the first woman to log a long-duration mission on Soyuz TM-20 to the Mir space station from October 1994 through March 1995, whilst Yelena Serova did likewise to the ISS during Expeditions 41 and 42 from September 2014 through March 2015—the United States and other nations have gone much further.

In addition to Russia and America, Canada’s Roberta Bondar, Japan’s Chiaki Mukai, France’s Claudie Haigneré, China’s Liu Yang and Italy’s Samantha Cristoforetti have become their nation’s first female spacefarers, whilst Britain’s Helen Sharman and South Korea’s So-yeon Yi represent the only sovereign nations to have had a woman as their first national space traveler. The United States has seen Peggy Whitson become the first woman to command a space station, whilst Susan Helms logged a joint record for the world’s longest spacewalk and Susan Still-Kilrain and the late Janice Voss hold the torch for the shortest interval between two space missions by female astronauts.



Eileen Collins, the first female spacecraft commander in history, floats in Columbia’s middeck during STS-93 in July 1999. Photo Credit: NASA

By remarkable happenstance, Koch’s landing comes exactly 25 years to the week since Eileen Collins became the first female shuttle pilot on STS-63, as recently outlined in an AmericaSpace weekend history article. And with her Expedition 61/62 crewmate Jessica Meir—who participated in the world’s first three all-female spacewalks—slated to remain aboard the ISS through April 2020 and the 2013 astronaut class becoming the first in history to have a 50-50 representative split between men and women it can be expected that many more records will be set in years to come.

Source: https://www.americaspace.com/2020/02/06/christina-koch-returns-to-earth-after-longest-ever-spaceflight-by-a-woman/#more-111130

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Odp: [AmericaSpace] On International Women's Day
« Odpowiedź #13 dnia: Marzec 17, 2020, 13:48 »
Space Station 20th – Women and the Space Station
March 8, 2020 John Uri NASA Johnson Space Center [NASA]

Celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month


Left: Tereshkova just before boarding her Vostok 6 capsule.
Right: Ride aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger during the STS-7 mission.

 
“A bird cannot fly with one wing only. Human space flight cannot develop any further without the active participation of women.”Valentina Tereshkova

“If we want scientists and engineers in the future, we should be cultivating the girls as much as the boys.”Sally Ride

International cooperation is very necessary. Chinese have a saying, ‘When all the people collect the wood, you will make a great fire.’”Liu Yang

As of March 2020, 65 women have flown in space. Of these, 38 have visited the International Space Station (ISS) as long-duration expedition crewmembers, as visitors on Space Shuttle assembly flights or as Space Flight Participants on short-duration Soyuz missions. It is fitting to recognize the significant accomplishments of these women as well as the pioneering women who preceded them into space. This article cannot recognize all the great contributions by women to make ISS the unique laboratory in space and only strives to capture significant firsts. Many other women contributed to the assembly of the station and the research being conducted aboard on a daily basis. These include not only the astronauts who flew the daring missions but also the many women on the ground who as center directors, managers, flight directors and in many other roles continue the exploration of space, as NASA endeavors to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon and possibly send the first crews to Mars in the coming decades.

Soviet cosmonaut Valentina V. Tereshkova made history on June 16, 1963, when she launched aboard Vostok 6 as the first woman in space. Soviet plans to launch other female cosmonauts in the 1960s never materialized and nearly 20 years passed before another woman flew in space. In January 1978, NASA announced the selection of 35 new astronauts including six women for the Space Shuttle program. In response, the Soviet Union secretly selected a group of nine women cosmonauts in 1980. On Aug. 19, 1982, one of those, Svetlana Y. Savitskaya, launched with her two crewmates aboard Soyuz T-7 to spend a week aboard the Salyut-7 space station. The next day they joined the two long-duration resident crewmembers aboard, marking the first time a space station hosted a mixed-gender crew. Ten months later, astronaut Sally K. Ride made history on June 18, 1983, becoming the first American woman in space, spending seven days aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger during the STS-7 mission.


Savitskaya made history again on July 25, 1984, as the first woman to participate in a spacewalk or Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) during her second flight to Salyut 7. Less than three months later, on Oct. 11, Kathryn D. Sullivan completed the first EVA by an American woman from the Space Shuttle Challenger during the STS-41G mission. With Ride as one of Sullivan’s crewmates, the flight marked the first time that two women flew on the same mission.


Left: Savitskaya during her EVA outside Salyut-7.
Right: Sullivan (at left) and Ride aboard Space Shuttle Challenger during the STS-41G mission.


The honor of the first woman to complete a long-duration mission in space belongs to Russian cosmonaut Elena V. Kondakova. She launched aboard the Soyuz TM20 spacecraft on Oct. 3, 1994, and spent 169 days aboard the Mir space station as part of Expedition 17, returning to Earth on March 22, 1995. The first American woman to complete a long-duration mission, Shannon W. Lucid launched on March 22, 1996, aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. The second astronaut to fly as part of the Shuttle-Mir Program she spent 188 days aboard Mir as part of Expeditions 21 and 22, returning to Earth with STS-79 on Sep. 26.


Left: Kondakova (second from right) aboard Mir during the handover between Expedition 16 and 17.
Right: Lucid (at left) with her Mir Expedition 21 crewmates.


As on-orbit assembly of ISS commenced in 1998, women were literally on board from the very beginning. As the first woman to reach ISS, Nancy J. Currie participated in the first assembly mission, STS-88 in December 1998, using the Shuttle’s robotic arm to precisely join the American Unity Node 1 module to the Russian-built Zarya module, launched three weeks earlier.


Left: Currie (in front at right), the first woman to reach ISS with her STS-88 crewmates.
Right: Currie at work in the Zarya module.


The second Space Shuttle assembly mission, STS-96 in May 1999, included three women on the crew – Tamara E. “Tammy” Jernigan, Ellen L. Ochoa and Julie Payette. Jernigan became the first woman to participate in an EVA at ISS to install crane equipment for future assembly tasks, with Ochoa as the robotic arm operator. Payette became the first Canadian of any gender to visit ISS, and became the first Canadian to make a second visit to ISS during STS-127 in 2009.


Left: STS-96 crew in the Unity Node 1 module, with Jernigan and Payette in the top row and Ochoa at bottom right. 
Right: Jernigan during the STS-96 EVA.



Payette in the Unity Node 1 module.

Astronaut Pamela A. Melroy was the first woman to serve as Pilot on a Shuttle flight to ISS, STS-92 in October 2000, the mission that added the Z1 truss, control moment gyros and a Pressurized Mating Adaptor to the developing station. She returned to ISS as Pilot of STS-112 in October 2002 and as Commander of STS-120 in October 2007. Astronaut Susan J. Helms holds several distinctions for women. As a member of Expedition 2, she became the first woman to complete a long-duration mission on ISS, a 167-day flight between March and August of 2001. She had previously flown to ISS during STS-101, making her the first woman to visit the station twice. Helms was the first woman with a military background to visit ISS, having graduated in the U.S. Air Force Academy’s first woman-inclusive class of 1980. She co-holds the record for the longest EVA to date, 8 hours and 56 minutes, completed with her Expedition 2 crewmate James S. Voss.


Left: STS-92 Pilot Melroy shortly after reaching orbit.
Right: Expedition 2 Commander Yuri V. Usachev (at left) coaxing a reluctant Flight Engineer Helms to leave ISS at the end of their mission.


Eileen M. Collins had already made history twice before, first in 1995 as the first female Pilot of a Space Shuttle mission and again in 1999 as the first woman Shuttle Commander. In 2005, Collins became the first woman to command a Shuttle mission to ISS, the Return to Flight STS-114 mission, the first after the Columbia accident two years previously. Heidemarie M. “Heidi” Stefanyshyn-Piper was the first woman to conduct an EVA from the station’s Quest Joint Airlock Module on Sep. 12, 2006, during the STS-115 mission that installed the P3/P4 truss segment on ISS.


Left: STS-114 Commander Collins (at left) with Pilot James M. “Vegas” Kelly on the flight deck of Discovery.
Right: Piper working on the P3/P4 truss segment during an EVA on STS-115.


Peggy A. Whitson became the first woman Commander of ISS during Expedition 16 in 2007, her second long-duration mission to the station. Expedition 16 was notable for the addition to ISS of the Harmony Node 2 module, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Columbus research module, the first of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) elements and the arrival of the first of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) cargo resupply vehicles named Jules Verne. As noted above, Melroy commanded STS-120, the October 2007 mission that brought Columbus to ISS, marking the first and only time that Commanders of both ISS and the visiting Space Shuttle were women. In 2017, during Expedition 51 Whitson became the first woman to command ISS for a second time. As of March 2020, Whitson holds the record for most cumulative spaceflight time for a woman as well as for any American astronaut. Over the course of three long-duration missions aboard ISS, she spent a total of 639 days or about 1.75 years in space. She also holds the record for the most EVA time for a woman – over her three missions, she spent 60 hours and 21 minutes outside the station in the course of 10 EVAs.


Left: During the change of command ceremony, Expedition 16 Commander Whitson (top right) hangs the crew’s patch in the Destiny module.
Right: STS-120 Commander Melroy (at left) and ISS Expedition 16 Commander Whitson meet at the hatch between the two vehicles.


Between May 16 and 23, 2010, for the first time four women were aboard ISS at one time. Expedition 23 Flight Engineer Tracy E. Caldwell Dyson had been living and working since April when STS-131 arrived, with Dorothy M. “Dottie” Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie D. Wilson and Naoko Yamazaki as part of the Shuttle crew. The mission brought four new research facilities to the station. Three weeks after the Shuttle’s departure, Caldwell Dyson and her crewmates welcomed a new trio of long-duration crewmembers including Shannon Walker, making Expedition 24 the first to include two women. The next two-woman expedition took place between November 2014 and March 2015 – Expedition 42 included Elena O. Serova, the first Russian woman to make a long-duration flight aboard ISS, and Samantha Cristoforetti from Italy, the first female ESA astronaut on a long-duration mission.


Left: Four women aboard ISS (clockwise from top left) Metcalf-Lindenburger, Yamazaki, Wilson and Caldwell Dyson. 
Right: Caldwell Dyson (middle) and Walker (right) with their Expedition 24 crewmate Douglas H. “Wheels” Wheelock.



Serova (at left) and Cristoforetti in the ATV-5 cargo vehicle Georges Lemaître during Expedition 42.

Expeditions including two women have recently become more common. During Expedition 57, Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor and Anne C. McClain overlapped by about three weeks in December 2018, between March and June 2019 McClain and Christina Hammock Koch were aboard as part of Expedition 59, and Jessica U. Meir joined Koch in September of that year during Expedition 61. Koch returned to Earth in February 2020, completing a flight of 329 days, the longest to date by a woman.


Left: Auñón-Chancellor (at left) and McClain working together in the Kibo module during Expedition 57.
Right: McClain (at left) and Koch demonstrating weightlessness during Expedition 59.


The Expedition 61 crew conducted a record nine EVAs between October 2019 and January 2020. Koch and Meir made history on Oct. 18 when they floated outside ISS to carry out the first all-woman EVA, one of several spacewalks to replace the station’s batteries. The capsule communicator (Capcom), the astronaut in Mission Control who communicates with the astronauts in space, for this historic EVA was three-time Space Shuttle veteran Stephanie Wilson (who as noted above took part in the first four-woman gathering on ISS), assisted by space station veteran Mark T. Vande Hei. "As much as it's worth celebrating the first spacewalk with an all-female team, I think many of us are looking forward to it just being normal," astronaut Caldwell Dyson said during live coverage of the spacewalk. As if to prove her point, Koch and Meir conducted two more all-woman EVAs in January 2020.


Space suited astronauts Meir (at left) and Koch, assisted by their Expedition 61 crewmates, prepare for the first all woman EVA.


CAPCOMs Wilson (at left) and Vande Hei assist Meir and Koch during the first all-woman EVA.

The story of women in space would not be complete without mention of the two women from the People’s Republic of China who have flown in space. China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang, launched on June 16, 2012, aboard the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft with her two crewmates, docking with the Tiangong-1 space station two days later. The trio returned to Earth after a 13-day mission. One year later, on June 11, 2013, Wang Yaping and her two crewmates launched aboard Shenzhou 10 for a 14-day visit to Tiangong-1. Wang conducted science experiments and taught a live physics lessons to school children from aboard the station.


Left: Liu, China’s first woman in space, aboard the Tiangong-1 space station.
Right: Wang teaching a physics lesson live from Tiangong-1.



The Tiangong-1 space station as seen during the approach by the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft.

Source: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/space-station-20th-women-and-the-space-station

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