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Women astronauts teamed up for first spacewalk of 2020

Wednesday, January 15th 2020, 4:30 pm - Wednesday morning was packed with spectacular views of Earth from space!

The first spacewalk of 2020 happened on Wednesday, January 15, and you can watch all the action here!

Starting at roughly 6:30 a.m. EST, NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch opened up the exterior hatch on the International Space Station, to exit out into space on their next spacewalk.

This was the second all-women NASA spacewalk for the pair, after their first (and the first in history) on October 18, 2019. Watch the highlights of the EVA, below.

During this seven-and-a-half hour spacewalk, Meir and Koch continued the work of replacing the station's old nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer lithium-ion batteries. These new batteries are capable of storing more of the electricity gathered by the solar arrays, thus upgrading the station's power systems.

This was the second spacewalk for Meir, and she was extravehicular crew member 1 (EV1) for this outing, wearing the spacesuit with red stripes on it.

For Koch, who was extravehicular crew member 2 (EV2), this was her fifth spacewalk overall, and as of January 9, 2020, she has now spent a total of over 300 days in space in a single go. This already beats out the record for longest single stay in space by a woman, of 289 days, set by Peggy Whitson from November 2016 to September 2017. By the end of her current mission, which is scheduled to end in February, Koch will be the person to beat for this record, at a total of 328 days.

Astronaut-Jessica-Mier-Space-selfie-NASAOn her first spacewalk, on October 18, 2019, Jessica Meir snapped this 'Space Selfie', catching the reflection of her camera and the distant horizon of Earth in her helmet visor. Credit: NASA

Meir and Koch are also scheduled to perform the next spacewalk after this, on Monday, January 20, where they are expected to reprise their roles as EV1 and EV2 to complete the station's battery replacements.

Source: NASA

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