The First All-Female Spacewalk Is Happening Right Now

Abby Gardner

In middle school I begged to go to Space Camp. In that week I served as both the commander of a mission and participated in an all-female spacewalk simulation with another girl, among other amazing activities. I couldn't have imagined then that it would take until 2019 for two women to do that same thing in actual outer space.

But at last it's all happening. As I write this, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir are taking part in the first all-female spacewalk outside the International Space Station, where the duo will be replacing a faulty battery charge/discharge unit. (Women have done spacewalks before, but never together.)

You may remember back in March, NASA had to cancel this scheduled event for the most ridiculous reason: The organization didn’t have two spacesuits that were sized to fit women, and one of the women, Anne McClain, had to give up her spot to a man. “Anne trained in ‘M’ and ‘L’ and thought she could use a large but decided after [last] Friday’s spacewalk a medium fits better,” a NASA spokeswoman, Stephanie Schierholz, said in a tweet at the time. “In this case, it’s easier (and faster!) to change space-walkers than reconfigure the spacesuit.”

We are not over that, but at least now we can also celebrate these incredible women.

And since each is a person in her own right, NASA has even provided a handy way to identify who is who in the livestream.

“I think it’s important because of the historical nature of what we’re doing and that in the past, women haven’t always been at the table,” Koch said in a news conference ahead of the historic day. “It’s wonderful to be contributing to human spaceflight at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role and that can lead, in turn, to increased chance for success.”

“What we’re doing now shows all the work that went in for the decades prior, all of the women that worked to get us where we are today,” Meir said. “I think the nice thing for us is we don’t even really think about it on a daily basis, it’s just normal. We’re part of the team, we’re doing this work as an efficient team working together with everybody else, so it’s really nice to see how far that we’ve come.”

Fellow astronauts, celebrities, and the general public are celebrating the moment on social media.

This post may be updated as the spacewalk continues.

Originally Appeared on Glamour