The spacewalk was initially scheduled to take place more than six months ago, with astronauts Kristina Koch and Anne McClain doing the honours, but was delayed because NASA did not have enough correctly sized spacesuits. On Tuesday, NASA said that everything was ready and that the first all-female spacewalk would be conducted on either Thursday or Friday to replace a failed battery charge-discharge unit.
Meir announced her future spacewalk with Kristina Koch on her Twitter on Wednesday.
Gearing up for Friday’s spacewalk to help the ground teams repair one of the battery channels with @Astro_Christina.— Jessica Meir (@Astro_Jessica) October 16, 2019
. . . first spacesuit selfie, check!✔️
Photos will be much more spectacular once we pass through the hatch. Be sure to watch live: https://t.co/8ggAQFbzAh pic.twitter.com/oXUDnDvLLY
The spacewalk will be broadcast by NASA and is set to start no earlier than 10:30 GMT on 18 October.
The spacewalk will be Koch's fourth and Meir's first. They are to become the 14th and 15th female astronauts to manoeuvre outside the space station. Previously, women were always teamed up with a male counterpart during spacewalks.
The first woman to conduct a spacewalk was Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya in 1984.
There are currently six people on the space station: Koch, Meir and fellow NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan; Russian cosmonauts Aleksandr Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka; and the European Space Agency’s Luca Parmitano.