PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — History was made high above earth Friday. Two female astronauts successfully completed the first all-female spacewalk.
There was some polite maneuvering up in space as astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir made their way outside the International Space Station to replace a battery.
Meir walked hand over hand while Koch hitched a ride on a robotic arm.
For the first time in history, two female astronauts are spacewalking together.
“Certainly women have walked in space before, 15 in fact. Fourteen of those are NASA astronauts, but this is the first time it’s been all women and that’s generated a lot of excitement,” CBS News Space Analyst Bill Harwood said.
“What we’re doing now shows all the work that went in for the decades prior, all the women that worked to get us to where we are today,” Meir said.
The first all-female spacewalk was supposed to happen back in March with Koch and astronaut Anne McClain.
But only one medium-sized torso spacesuit was available so both women could not participate.
Since then, NASA designed a more one-size-fits-all spacesuit.
In 1984, Kath Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space. She believes Friday’s all-female spacewalk means a lot.
“Let’s do the math — it’s ’84 to 2019. That’s a long time,” Sullivan said.
Thirty-five years later, the all-female team is replacing a 230-pound battery that failed last week.
On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump congratulated the women on the historic spacewalk.
“What you do is incredible. You’re very brave people,” he said.
“This is really just us doing our job. At the same time, we recognize that this is a historic achievement and we want to give credit to all of those who came before us,” Meir said.
Koch is seven months into an 11-month spaceflight that will be the longest by a woman.