First All Women Spacewalk Commemorative Patch - Koch and Meir
This is the non-limited edition version, not numbered and non-metallic thread border, produced by AB Emblem, official patch.
Approximately 4 1/4" wide by 5" tall.
Designed by Lynn & Tim Gagnon
Why is this spacewalk significant?
Although it's the 221st spacewalk performed in support of space station assembly, it's the first to be conducted entirely by women, NASA astronauts Jessica Meir (at left above) and Christina Koch (at right above). It’s the first spacewalk for Meir; she’ll become the 15th woman overall and 14th U.S. woman to spacewalk.
What's the importance of an all-woman spacewalk?
The first all-woman spacewalk is a milestone worth noting and celebrating as the agency looks forward to putting the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 with NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program. Our achievements provide inspiration to students around the world, proving that hard work can lead you to great heights, and all students should be able to see themselves in those achievements.
When asked in an interview about the importance of conducting her mission and this spacewalk, Koch said, “In the end, I do think it’s important, and I think it’s important because of the historical nature of what we’re doing. In the past women haven’t always been at the table. It’s wonderful to be contributing to the space program at a time when all contributions are being accepted, when everyone has a role. That can lead in turn to increased chance for success. There are a lot of people who derive motivation from inspiring stories of people who look like them, and I think it’s an important story to tell.”
The all-woman spacewalk wasn't something we purposefully planned, though. It was bound to happen eventually because of the increasing number of female astronauts. Koch's and Meir's 2013 class of astronaut candidates was 50 percent women.
Spacewalk assignments are always made on the basis of which astronauts are best prepared to accomplish the tasks at hand under the conditions at the time. Spacewalks are not easy; astronauts typically describe them as the most physically challenging thing they do.