Even for an astronaut, a spacewalk is a pretty special thing.
It takes preparation and concentration, and there's quite a bit of risk involved. You are, after all, 'walking' in the vacuum of space. Not exactly normal!
But even with an activity this extraordinary, there are spacewalks that are more special than others. Take the one that happened outside the International Space Station (ISS) on October 18, 2019.
This was the first all-female spacewalk in history!
Stepping into the record books
On this day, astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir left the ISS to work on maintenance and upgrades to the space station. It's maybe not the flashiest of tasks, but it allowed Koch and Meir to break through a barrier that had stood for decades.
Though women had done spacewalks before, they had never gone as a duo without any men present. And now, on the year anniversary of this achievement, Guinness World Records has announced that it will recognize them in their 2021 book of records!
"We see this achievement as paying homage to the generations of women who dedicated their lives to pushing boundaries and breaking through glass ceilings to enable us to be where we were that day," said Meir in a statement.
And now, future astronauts will get to benefit from what she and Koch achieved. How cool is that?
No looking back
Koch and Meir are still active astronauts and are far from done adding to their legacies in space. In fact, on February 7, 2020, Koch set a new record for the longest spaceflight by a woman after being on the ISS for 328 days.
They want to see a time when an all-female spacewalk is a normal thing — and where their own achievements are dwarfed by even bigger and better things. "What an honor to be recognized with a Guinness World Records title," said Koch. "I might be one of the few record-holders who hopes this achievement is broken, because it means NASA will continue to break barriers."
We couldn't agree more. And how about you? Would you like to be an outer space record-setter one day? It looks like there will be a lot of opportunities to do so in the future.