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  • The McClain-Koch spacewalk is expected to last about seven hours.

    The McClain-Koch spacewalk is expected to last about seven hours. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 March 2019

On March 14, Koch will set out on Expedition 59 for her first spaceflight and will join fellow first-time traveler McClain, a member of Expedition 58 who has been onboard the ISS since December.

NASA has confirmed that an all-female spacewalk featuring, astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch, is scheduled to take place outside the International Space Station (ISS) on March 29.

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"As currently scheduled, the March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women," NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz disclosed to CNN. "It is the second in a series of three planned spacewalks. Anne also will join Nick Hague for the March 22 spacewalk. And, of course, assignments and schedules could always change."

On March 14, Koch will set out on Expedition 59 for her first spaceflight and will join fellow first-time traveler McClain, a member of Expedition 58 who has been onboard the ISS since December.

"It was not orchestrated to be this way; these spacewalks were originally scheduled to take place in the fall," Schierholz added.

The McClain-Koch spacewalk is expected to last about seven hours.

Though details surrounding the walk remain unknown, the two women will be in space among members of NASA’s "8 Balls" class of 2013 that is reportedly in training for a trip to Mars.

"8 Balls" consist of four women and four men, which represents the first time a NASA ISS team will have an equal number of men and women.    

Expedition 59 crew will also carry out about 250 research investigations and technology demonstrations, "not possible on Earth, to advance scientific knowledge of Earth, space, physical, and biological sciences," according to a NASA press release.

Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol will serve as console at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

In 1984, cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space.

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