UCSD Alum, Colleague Conduct 2nd All-Female Spacewalk

Jessica Meir launched into space on Sept. 25, where she met her friend and colleague Christina Koch at the ISS

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Months after making history as the first all-female astronaut duo to walk outside the International Space Station (ISS), NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch are at it again.

UC San Diego alumna Jessica Meir and her friend and colleague Christina Koch floated into space to upgrade the station's power systems by replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer lithium-ion ones.

The upgrades, conducted on the outside of the station roughly 250 miles up from Earth, were expected to take six-and-a-half hours to complete.

It was the fifth spacewalk for Koch and the second for Meir.

In October, the pair made history when they completed a spacewalk to fix a faulty battery; it was the first time in a half-century that a woman floated out without a male crewmate.

Meir became the 228th person in the world to conduct a spacewalk and the 15th woman.

Meir has been at the International Space Station since Sept. 25, when she launched on her first-ever trip to space alongside Russia's Oleg Skripochka and Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, of the United Arab Emirates.

During Meir’s six-month mission, she will be conducting experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science inside a microgravity laboratory.

Meir studied diving physiology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

NASA Astronaut With Ties to San Diego Launches Into Space

Before receiving her doctorate in marine biology at UCSD, Meir studied biology at Brown University and studied at the International Space University in France. She worked for three years at NASA's Johnson Space Center to research how humans' physiology changes in space.

When Meir was 5 years old, she was asked to draw a picture of what she wanted to be when she grew up. The drawing, she recalls, was a photo of an astronaut on the moon with an American Flag behind her.

Now, she is that astronaut.

To track Meir's journey, visit her NASA page.

American astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch made history Friday with NASA’s first all-female spacewalk. The astronauts walked outside the International Space Station to replace a faulty battery.
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