Students at an all-girls school in Mid-Wilshire were up extra early this Friday morning to watch two NASA astronauts make history as they complete the first all-female spacewalk at 4:50 a.m. PDT.
The Girls Academic Leadership Academy, Dr. Michelle King School for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (GALA) gathered its students to watch as the all-female crew doned special spacesuits -- a shortage of which had delayed the spacewalk before -- and ventured outside the International Space Station, the school said in a media release.
"This is particularly meaningful to them as they are a STEM-focused school for girls," Samuel C. Gilstrap, Los Angeles Unified School District public information officer said.
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NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir were dispatched from the station to replace a faulty lithium-ion battery on the space station, which the students will watch live on NASA TV.
This spacewalk is a critical outing to restore lost power in the wake of an equipment failure that cropped up after new batteries were installed in the International Space Station's solar power system during two recent spacewalks, according to NASA TV.
The Associated Press has reported that Meir, a marine biologist who arrived at the orbiting lab last month, will be the 15th female spacewalker. Koch, an electrical engineer, already has done three spacewalks; she's seven months into an 11-month spaceflight that will be the longest by a woman.
They also reported that NASA planned the first all-female spacewalk in March, but had to call it off because of a shortage of medium-size suits. Koch put together a second medium over the summer.