First Native American woman in space steps out on spacewalk
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The first Native American woman in space ventured out on a spacewalk Friday to prep the International Space Station for more solar panels.
NASA astronaut Nicole Mann emerged alongside Japan’s Koichi Wakata, lugging an equipment bag. Their job was to install support struts and brackets for new solar panels launching this summer, part of a continuing effort by NASA to expand the space station’s power grid.
LIVE NOW: Watch @NASA_Astronauts Nicole Mann and @JAXA_en astronaut Koichi Wakata as they step outside the @Space_Station for their first spacewalk. They will be assembling the mounting brackets in preparation for the station’s next set of solar arrays. https://t.co/zImeCuZz2F
— NASA (@NASA) January 20, 2023
Mann, a Marine colonel and test pilot, rocketed into orbit last fall with SpaceX, becoming the first Native American woman in space. She is a member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in Northern California.
Wakata, Japan’s spaceflight leader with five missions, also flew up on SpaceX. He helped build the station during the shuttle era.
Friday was the first spacewalk for both.
The pair will depart the space station in another month or so.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Educational Media Group. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
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