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NASA Confirms Spacewalk Scheduled With The First Ever All-Women Astronauts

In addition to the two women in space, another woman, Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol, is expected to be on the console at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, providing support on the seven-hour spacewalk.

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U.S. astronaut Anne McClain, a member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station, before the launch of Soyuz MS-11 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Dec. 3, 2018. VOA

The U.S. space agency NASA has confirmed that it has scheduled a spacewalk by two female astronauts for the first time.

A NASA spokeswoman told CNN Wednesday, “As currently scheduled, the March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women.”

The spacewalk, staffed by astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will be the second spacewalk of three during Expedition 59, which launches March 14.

U.S. astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, a member of the International Space Station expedition, attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Center in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, Feb. 20, 2019.
U.S. astronaut Christina Hammock Koch, a member of the International Space Station expedition, attends her final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts’ Training Center in Star City outside Moscow, Russia, Feb. 20, 2019. VOA

Koch is a member of Expedition 59, while McClain is currently part of the three-person crew of the International Space Station.

In addition to the two women in space, another woman, Canadian Space Agency flight controller Kristen Facciol, is expected to be on the console at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, providing support on the seven-hour spacewalk.

Male astronauts Nick Hague and David Saint-Jacques will participate in the first and third spacewalks.

It is unclear yet what is to be accomplished on the spacewalk. NASA says spacewalks are conducted for repairs, testing equipment and conducting experiments. (VOA)

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NASA Partnering with 10 Start-ups to Develop New Technologies For Space

"Industry is developing new technologies rapidly, using new tools and methods in software development and other areas,"

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NASA researchers have created the atmosphere of a super-hot planet outside our solar system, here on Earth. Pixabay

NASA is inviting applications from start-ups to take part in a three-month pilot programme to develop new technologies for space.

Applications will be accepted till April 7 and a total of 10 companies will be selected for the programme, the US space agency said.

The accelerator programme will focus on technologies that can be applied to space — including geospatial analytics, digital design coupled to advanced manufacturing, autonomous systems, applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).

NASA
NASA Administrator James Bridenstine delivers remarks as he tours the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. VOA

“We want to assist these companies in developing their own technologies and becoming commercial successes. NASA will also benefit by collaborating with these companies,” said Tom Cwik, Manager of the Space Technology Office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

Based in Los Angeles, the accelerator programme begins on July 15. After developing their concepts and business plans over a three-month period, the teams will then pitch their results to the NASA community, co-sponsors and private investors at a demo day in October, NASA said.

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“Industry is developing new technologies rapidly, using new tools and methods in software development and other areas,” said Cwik.

“It’s incumbent upon us to learn from developments in industry and contribute our vast expertise in technology as we prepare to use them in our future missions,” Cwik added. (IANS)