CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA has moved up the first all-female spacewalk to this week because of a power system failure at the International Space Station.
Astronauts North Carolina native Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will now venture out Thursday or Friday, instead of next Monday.
A battery power controller failed over the weekend, prompting the change. The women will replace the broken component, rather than install new batteries, which was their original job.
Last week, astronauts conducted two spacewalks to replace old space station batteries. They have three more spacewalks to go to finish the battery work. A battery-swapping spacewalk scheduled for Wednesday has been called off.
NASA says the six station astronauts remain safe, despite the failure.
This will be the first spacewalk by only women in more than a half-century of spacewalking.
Koch was supposed to do a spacewalk with another female crewmate in March. But NASA had to scrap the plan just a few days in advance because there wasn't enough time to get a second medium-size spacesuit ready. The second medium was put together on board in June.
Koch, an electrical engineer, is more than 200 days into an approximately 300-day mission, which will set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.
Koch grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina and went to school at North Carolina State.
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