Two women serving onboard the International Space Station (ISS) began the second all-female spacewalk in history on Wednesday.
NASA reported that astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch began a several-hour mission to replace batteries on solar arrays outside the ISS early Wednesday morning, despite a mechanical issue setting the mission back about 30 minutes.
✅ First spacewalk task complete! @Astro_Christina & @Astro_Jessica removed one of the @Space_Station's old nickel-hydrogen batteries, which are being replaced with new lithium-ion batteries that store and distribute power from the solar arrays. Watch: https://t.co/CEsJrxByMF pic.twitter.com/qOaujrJkzz— NASA (@NASA) January 15, 2020
"Flight Engineers Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are venturing out into the vacuum of space for about six-and-a-half hours to finish replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries that store and distribute power generated by the station’s solar arrays on the station’s port truss," reads a description of the mission on NASA's website.
The mission will set up a second spacewalk, this time conducted by one man and one woman, later this month to install new technology on the ISS's spectrometer should the battery replacement Wednesday be successful.
Wednesday's mission marked the 225th spacewalk conducted at the ISS, according to CNN.
Koch told NPR last year that she was honored to be a part of NASA's first all-female spacewalk, which was conducted in October.
“In the past, women haven’t always been at the table,” Koch told NPR at the time.
“It’s wonderful to be contributing to the human spaceflight program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone is having a role and that can lead in turn to an increased chance of success," she continued.