WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) applauded news of the passage of a bipartisan resolution, which she co-sponsored along with all 24 of her female Senate colleagues, recognizing astronauts Dr. Jessica U. Meir and Christina H. Koch, who made history by completing the first all-female spacewalk. The resolution also recognizes NASA’s efforts to fully integrate women into the astronaut corp.
“I am thrilled to congratulate Dr. Jessica Meir and Christina Koch on their historic accomplishment,” said Senator Rosen. “Women make up half of this country’s workforce but less than a quarter of all STEM jobs. I hope this momentous occasion will inspire girls and young women around the country, and encourage them to break barriers and pursue their dreams.”
BACKGROUND: On October 18, 2019, Dr. Jessica U. Meir and Christina H. Koch completed their seven hour and seven-minute spacewalk, marking the first time in history that such a task was done by two female astronauts.
Of the approximately 560 people to have been in space, only 65 of them have been women. Space travel and other careers in STEM have long been disproportionately underrepresented by women. NASA did not even admit women into their astronaut program until 1978, more than ten years after the first spacewalk took place. Dr. Meir and Ms. Koch’s successful spacewalk makes them the 14th and 15th women, respectively, to conduct a spacewalk.
In 2013, Dr. Meir and Ms. Koch were among the four women and four men selected from more than 6,000 applications for NASA’s 21st class of astronauts. The class of 2013 was the first group to include equal numbers of men and women.