47: First All-Woman Spacewalk celebration with Beth and RSE Dean Mikolajczyk

 

Christina Koch and Jessica Meir make HISTORY as the first two women to complete spacewalks TOGETHER in space! Beth and Dean review what this means for women everywhere, why this is a significant milestone for women, and how women have been a significant part of our success in space exploration for over 50 years. 

 

Beth and Dean discuss many firsts for women in space in this episode and more: 

  • NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir successfully completed a spacewalk on Friday, October 18, 2019– the first to be conducted by two women, which Koch and Meir replaced a faulty battery charger on the International Space Station’s truss structure, restoring power capabilities for station operations and ongoing research. The spacewalk was Koch’s fourth and Meir’s first.
  • Meir became the 15th U.S. woman to spacewalk, during the 43rd spacewalk to include a woman. Women have been performing spacewalks since 1984 – Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya spacewalked that July, and NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan spacewalked in October that same year.  
  • Dean and Beth predict who will be the FIRST WOMAN ON THE MOON! 
  • If you want to hear MORE about the Women of the Johnson Space Center and the history of the work within the space program, Beth HIGHLY recommends, “Houston, We Have a Podcast, Episode 109 Women of JSC; Apollo to Artemis.” Listen here: https://www.nasa.gov/johnson/HWHAP/women-of-jsc-apollo-to-artemis
 

About Dean M: Dean is an American Astronomer who has been gazing at the heavens for over fifty years. From early trips to NASA centers, Dean caught the Space Bug at a very young age. Having many mentors in his quest to become an astronomer, Dean excelled at Physics & Astronomy. 

The only problem I can see in becoming an astronomer is that I have trouble staying up at night. I was able to get around this situation by getting my Master’s in Solar Physics. However, I did end up biting the astronomy bullet by doing research on Quasars and Galaxies. An early instructor of mine once said, “Dean, I don’t understand how you can keep looking out the window and still get an “A” in my class.” I responded to him by saying, “I hear and understand everything you’re saying, but if I have questions, I’ll ask. ” That was my 6th grade science teacher Mr. Pederson.

Dean Mikolajczyk

Dean went on to using major astronomical research centers in the Midwest, such as LARC Lindheimer Astronomical Research Center on the campus of Northwestern University and also Yerkes Observatory of the University of Chicago. Dean published 3 papers on his research. Published in the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Being very outspoken, Dean was able to land a position at Marshall Spaceflight Center as a Public Affairs Officer. Beside his regular duties of promoting NASA, Dean was able to study computer programming. 

This led Dean to do minor software programs for the space shuttle. Recruited by the Jet propulsion laboratory in California Dean’s position directly supported the MER program to Mars. Dean continues to actively promote NASA through his lectures to students and space enthusiasts throughout the Midwest.  Dean’s passion for Space & Astronomy has led him on a quest to educate the public through his classes and lectures on Space & Astronomy.

 

Where to find Dean:

www.TritionCollege.edu/Cernan

www.HarperCollege.edu

 

More news coverage about this historic spacewalk:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/18/nasa-astronauts-international-space-station-first-all-female-spacewalk/4020056002/

and

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/10/nasa-first-all-female-spacewalk/600331/

and

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/in-space-news-conference-to-review-first-all-woman-spacewalk

and 

https://www.nasa.gov/johnson/HWHAP/women-of-jsc-apollo-to-artemis

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