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NASA astronauts conduct 4th-ever all-female spacewalk today

Two NASA astronauts will conduct the fourth all-female spacewalk of all time on Wednesday (Nov. 1), and you can watch the action live.

Loral O'Hara and Jasmin Moghbeli are scheduled to step outside the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday at 8:05 a.m. EDT (1205 GMT) on a spacewalk that will last about seven hours.

O'Hara and Moghbeli "will remove an electronics box called the Radio Frequency Group that was part of a communications antenna system," NASA officials wrote in an update on Monday (Oct. 30).

"They also will replace one of 12 trundle bearing assemblies on the station's port solar alpha rotary joint," they added. "The bearings enable the station's solar arrays to track the sun."

The duo's excursion was originally scheduled to take place on Oct. 20, but it was pushed back after a leak of ammonia coolant was discovered on a backup radiator on Russia's Nauka module on Oct. 9.

Two cosmonauts conducted a spacewalk on Oct. 25 to look for the source of the leak and perform other tasks. Their observations could help Roscosmos, Russia's federal space agency, determine the cause of the leak and figure out how to get the radiator back up and running. (Nauka's primary radiator continues to work well, and there is no danger to the astronauts aboard the ISS, NASA and Roscosmos officials have said.)

There have been just three all-woman spacewalks to date, all of them performed by the same two people — NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, who made the excursions in 2019 and 2020.

But NASA has stressed that Koch, Meir, O'Hara and Moghbeli won't be outliers forever.

Wednesday's all-female spacewalk "will not be the last as we continue to live and work in space," agency officials told via email earlier this month.

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