The first American woman in space took off on a spacewalk Friday to prepare the International Space Station for more solar panels.
NASA astronaut Nicole Mann appeared alongside Japanese Koichi Wakata, carrying a bag of equipment. Their task was to install the support posts and braces for the new Solar Panels Launching this summer, as part of an ongoing effort by NASA to expand the space station power grid.
Mann, a Navy colonel and test pilot, blasted into orbit last fall with SpaceX, becoming the first Native American woman in space. She is a member of the Wailacki of the Rhubarb Valley Indian tribes of Northern California.
Wakata, the Japanese spaceflight leader with five missions, also flew on SpaceX. He helped build the station during the shuttle era.
Friday was the first spacewalk for both of them.
The husband will leave space station In another month or so.
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