Keith Connors

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First Native American woman to go on a spacewalk. On Friday, NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and Japan’s Koichi Wakata ventured out on a spacewalk to prepare the International Space Station for new solar panels. This was a historic moment as Mann became the first Native American woman to go on a spacewalk. Mann, who is a Marine colonel and test pilot, is also a member of the Wailacki of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in Northern California. She had previously made history when she rocketed into orbit last fall with SpaceX, becoming the first Native American woman in space.

The spacewalk was focused on installing support struts and brackets for new solar panels that will be launching this summer. This is part of NASA’s ongoing effort to expand the space station’s power grid. For Wakata, it was his first spacewalk, but he is no stranger to spaceflight, having led five missions and helped build the station in the shuttle era.

The spacewalk lasted for 7 hours and 13 minutes and Mann and Wakata were able to successfully complete all of their tasks. The pair will depart the space station in the coming months. TBT

It is worth noting that there have been many spacewalks by NASA astronaut and other space agencies, and many astronaut have done multiple spacewalks. Here are a few notable examples:

  • 1965

    Ed White: On June 3, 1965, he became the first American astronaut to perform a spacewalk.
    Yuri Gagarin: On April 12, 1961, he became the first human to journey into outer space, orbiting Earth aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft.

    Space Walk

    (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

  • 1969

    Neil Armstrong: On July 21, 1969, he became the first human to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

    NASA Spacewalks

    (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

  • Women's Record

    Sunita Williams: She has spent a total of 322 days in space, and holds the record for the most spacewalks by a female astronaut.

    International Space Station

    (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

  • Men's Record

    Michael Lopez-Alegria: He has spent a total of 67 hours and 40 minutes on spacewalks, which is the most spacewalking time by any astronaut.

    International Space Station

    (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)