“Station, this is President Donald Trump. Do you hear me?” he said during the call from the White House Roosevelt Room.
Trump congratulated the astronauts, calling them brave.
“This is the first time for a woman outside of the space station,” Trump said. “They’re conducting the first ever female spacewalk to replace an exterior part of the space station.”
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Meir quickly corrected him: “First of all, we don’t want to take too much credit because there have been many other female spacewalkers before us. This is just the first time there have been two women outside at the same time.”
The first woman to work outside of a space station was Russian astronaut Svetlana Savitskaya in 1984.
The first all-female spacewalk was originally scheduled for March, but it was delayed over spacesuit sizing issues.
“I just want to congratulate you. What you do is incredible,” Trump said. “You’re very brave people. I don’t think I want to do it.”[
Koch and Meir were working to replace a faulty power unit on the space station. After that task, their spacewalk was extended to perform typical maintenance outside the station.
“For us, it’s just coming out here and doing our job today, and we were the crew that was tasked with this assignment,” Meir said. “At the same time, we recognize that it is a historic achievement and we do of course want to give credit to all those that came before us. There have been a long line of female scientists, explorers, engineers and astronauts, and we have followed in their footsteps to get us where we are today.”