Trump Hails NASA Astronauts on 1st All-Woman Spacewalk in History

Space.com | 10/18/2019 | Tariq Malik
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President Donald Trump lauded two NASA astronauts on the first all-female spacewalk in history Friday (Oct. 18), complimenting their bravery and skill as they worked outside the International Space Station.

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Speaking from the White House, Trump hailed the work of astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, who had by then spent more than four hours replacing a faulty battery component on their orbiting laboratory. Their spacewalk marked the first time two women have walked in space together.

"I just want to congratulate you, what you do is incredible," Trump said in the call, which NASA broadcast live. "You're very brave people. I don't think I want to do it, I must tell you."

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"Congratulations, Christina and Jessica, on this historic event," he added. "This is truly historic."

Jessica Meir (at top left, with back to camera) and Christina Koch begin the first all-female spacewalk outside the Quest airlock of the International Space Station on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019.

NASA - Christina - Koch - Jessica - Meir

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir complete the first-ever "all-women spacewalk."

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir (center) and Christina Koch pose for a photo while preparing for an Oct. 18, 2019 spacewalk.

NASA - Jessica - Meir - Center - Christina

NASA astronauts Jessica Meir (center) and Christina Koch pose for a photo while preparing for an Oct. 18, 2019 spacewalk.

Trump, flanked by his daughter Ivanka Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, twice referred to Friday's spacewalk as the first by a woman, but in fact it is the first by an all-female spacewalking team. The first woman to walk in space was Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya in 1984; NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan became the first female American spacewalker later that year.

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Koch and Meir thanked Trump for his words, with Meir honoring those female space pioneers who paved the way for their spacewalk Friday. Meir, who made her first spacewalk...
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