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NASA moves up 1st all-female spacewalk to fix power unit

Marcia Dunn
Associated Press

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 Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will now venture out Thursday or Friday, instead of next Monday.

Astronauts Christina Koch, right, and, Jessica Meir on the International Space Station. NASA has moved up the first all-female spacewalk to Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, or Friday because of a power system failure at the International Space Station.

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.

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This will be the first spacewalk by only women in more than a half-century of spacewalking.

NASA says the six station astronauts remain safe, despite the failure.