The 1st All-Female Spacewalk Happening Today. Here's How to Watch It Live

History will be made today (Oct. 18) high above Earth, and we all have a chance to watch.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are scheduled to conduct the first-ever all-female spacewalk early this morning. The duo will exit the International Space Station around 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 GMT) on a five-to-six-hour excursion to replace a battery charge/discharge unit that failed last weekend. You can watch live here and on the homepage beginning at 6:30 a.m. EDT (1030 GMT), courtesy of NASA, or directly via the space agency.

Spacewalks have been performed by 14 different women over the years, according to NASA officials. But all of these spacewalkers were accompanied by a male colleague, so Koch and Meir will be breaking new ground.

Related: The Most Memorable Spacewalks in History

"In the end, I do think it’s important, and I think it’s important because of the historical nature of what we’re doing," Koch said in a recent interview.  

"In the past, women haven’t always been at the table," she added. "It’s wonderful to be contributing to the space program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role. That can lead in turn to increased chance for success. There are a lot of people who derive motivation from inspiring stories of people who look like them, and I think it’s an important story to tell."

NASA astronaut Christina Koch (left) poses for a portrait with fellow Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Jessica Meir of NASA who is inside a U.S. spacesuit for a fit check for a spacewalk on Oct. 18, 2019. It will be the first all-female spacewalk in history. (Image credit: NASA)

The historic moment was originally supposed to occur in late March. But a planned spacewalk involving Koch and NASA astronaut Anne McClain was called off because two properly sized spacesuits could not be readied in time for the excursion. (McClain returned to Earth in June.)

NASA initially targeted Koch and Meir for an extravehicular activity on Oct. 21, as part of a series of spacewalks designed to install new batteries on the space station's exterior. But the failure of the power unit changed those plans.

Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.