After making history at the space station (opens in new tab), NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir look to the moon.
This past Friday (Oct. 18), Koch and Meir conducted the first-ever "all woman spacewalk," (opens in new tab) during which they replaced a faulty piece of hardware that helps to power the International Space Station. Today (Oct. 21), following their landmark achievement, Koch and Meir addressed the media via webcast and shared their excitement about NASA's Artemis program (opens in new tab) and their dreams of setting foot on the lunar surface.
Prior to launching to the space station in September, Meir told Space.com "I would absolutely love to be the first woman on the moon. That would be my ideal mission. It is time for us to go back to the moon, and I think that we will be able to do that in the near future and I would love to be the one on that mission."
Video: Astronaut Hopes Moon is Next After All-Female Spacewalk (opens in new tab)
Related: Women in Space: A Gallery of Firsts (opens in new tab)
Meir also told Space.com how much of a dream it has been for her to not only become an astronaut, but to one day complete a spacewalk. She said that she was "really looking forward to the potential to do a spacewalk since that's really what I've always envisioned myself doing really my whole life."
"I wrote this in my high school yearbook under future plans, I said: to go for a spacewalk. So, I finally checked that box and have lived that dream," the astronaut said today during the webcast. "Another dream would be to go to the moon. That's always the image I had from the very first drawing I did of when I said I wanted to be an astronaut in the first grade – was standing on the surface of the moon. So I think maybe I'll make that my new dream," she added.
Meir is one of 12 women who are active in NASA's astronaut corps and are eligible to be chosen for the first Artemis mission to land humans on the surface of the moon. Koch, who led Friday's spacewalk as a veteran spacewalker, is also one of the 12 women who could be chosen as the first woman to walk on the moon (opens in new tab).
"The idea of having the honor of being the first woman to walk on the moon is almost too great to fathom," Koch said today during the webcast. "Of course it would be a dream of mine and has been my entire life but for now, I'll just settle for knowing that I'll probably at least know the first woman to walk on the moon, hint hint."
As Koch said "hint hint," she nudged Meir, suggesting her hope for Meir to be the first woman on the moon. This isn't surprising, as the two were accepted into the astronaut corps at the same time in 2013 and have been great friends ever since.
"I definitely do not necessarily know the selection process," Koch added, "but I do know that every single person in our office is extremely qualified and whoever does that mission will be the right person for the job and will carry the hopes and dreams of everyone to explore."
- All-Female Spacewalk Has Link to 1st US Woman to Walk in Space (opens in new tab)
- The 1st All-Woman Spacewalk: Photos, Videos and Tweets (opens in new tab)
- Astronauts Complete First Spacewalk in Series to Upgrade Station Batteries (opens in new tab)