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Israeli-Swedish Astronaut Embarks on All-Female NASA Space Walk

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By: JV Staff

An historic all-female space walk took place on Friday with two NASA astronauts which included a Jewish woman who has an Israeli father.

JTA reported that Jessica Meir, a Jewish woman who is a citizen of Sweden, and Michigan-born Christina Koch floated feet first out of the International Space Station’s Quest airlock. Their job while up in space is to replace a failed power control unit.

President Trump lauded the astronauts from the White House on Friday, complimenting their bravery and skill as they worked outside the International Space Station.

Speaking from the White House, Trump praised the exceptional work of Koch and Meir, who had by then spent more than four hours replacing a faulty battery component on their orbiting laboratory. Their spacewalk marked the first time two women have walked in space together, according to the Space.com web site, 

 

“I just want to congratulate you, what you do is incredible,” Trump said in the call, which NASA broadcast live. “You’re very brave people. I don’t think I want to do it, I must tell you.” 

“Congratulations, Christina and Jessica, on this historic event,” he added. “This is truly historic.”

JTA reported that 14 women and 213 men have carried out spacewalks. The first woman was the Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya, who went outside the USSR’s Salyut 7 space station in 1984.

Space.com reported that the first woman to walk in space was Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya in 1984; NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan became the first female American spacewalker later that year.  

Koch and Meir thanked Trump for his words, according to the Space.com report, with Meir honoring those female space pioneers who paved the way for their spacewalk. Meir, who made her first spacewalk Friday, became the 15th woman in history to walk in space. 

“This is really just us doing our jobs,” Meir said, adding that she and Koch just happened to be the crew in orbit when the spacewalk was needed. “At the same time, we recognize that it is a historic achievement, and we do of course want to give credit to all those that came before us. There’s been a long line of female scientists, explorers, engineers and astronauts. 

“We have followed in their footsteps to get us where we are today,” Meir said.

Meir added: “I’m extremely fortunate to be sharing this moment with Christina Koch, who’s not only my colleague but also a very, very close and dear friend.”We both really are honored to be out here and working today as to be representing whatever it is that’s significant to whatever individual’s desires and hearts.”

JTA reported that on Tuesday, NASA unveiled the prototype for a new spacesuit that could be worn by the next crew, expected to include a woman, to land on the moon. The suit is designed to give a customized fit to the individual astronaut, whatever their shape or size.

 

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