Alumna makes history as part of all-female spacewalk

NC State alumna and astronaut Christina Koch

On Friday, October 18, College of Engineering alumna and astronaut Christina Koch conducted the first all-female spacewalk with fellow astronaut Jessica Meir.

Koch and Meir, who are both part of NASA’s 2013 class of astronaut trainees, ventured outside the International Space Station Friday morning to replace a power controller.

Originally, the spacewalk was to take place on October 21, but the timeline was moved up after a power controller failed last week. The controller collects and distributes solar power to the space station systems.

The spacewalk officially began at 7:38 am Eastern Time. Koch, who graduated from NC State with a B.S. in electrical engineering and physics and a M.S. in electrical engineering, emerged first.

According to NASA, the excursion outside the space station will take five and a half hours.

In addition to making history as being part of the first all-female spacewalk, Koch is on track to set the record for the longest spaceflight by a woman at 328 days.

Koch launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan on March 14, 2019, for the International Space Station.