US astronauts carry out 1st all-female spacewalk

WASHINGTON -- Two US astronauts carried out the first-ever all-female spacewalk for humankind as they ventured outside the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday.

US astronaut Jessica Meir walks outside the International Space Station (ISS), in this still image taken from NASA video, Oct 18, 2019. (Photo: NASA TV)

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir began the spacewalk at about 7:50 am US Eastern Time (1250 GMT), according to NASA live TV. They have been tasked with replacing a power controller that failed during the weekend.

Koch wore a suit with red stripes and Meir wore a suit with no stripes. This is Koch's fourth spacewalk and Meir's first. Meir will be the 15th woman to spacewalk and the 14th US spacewoman, according to NASA.

It is NASA's second attempt to set the milestone in human spaceflight. The first attempt was canceled in March when the US space agency failed to provide enough spacesuits for two women.

"I think it's important because of the historical nature of what we're doing. In the past women haven't always been at the table. It's wonderful to be contributing to the space program at a time when all contributions are being accepted," said Koch in a recent NASA interview.