SALT LAKE CITY — They say men are from Mars, but the first person ever to step on the red planet will likely be a woman, according to NASA.
Jim Bridenstine, the head of NASA, recently appeared on the science and radio technology show Science Friday to talk about NASA’s future in space. One of the questions he was asked was if a woman would ever go to the moon for the first time.
In response, Bridenstine said “absolutely,” adding further details about how women will be involved with a Mars mission.
“It’s likely to be a woman, the first next person on the moon. It’s also true that the first person on Mars is likely to be a woman,” Bridenstine said. “NASA is committed to making sure that we have a broad and diverse set of talent. And we’re looking forward to the first woman on the moon. “
The first all-women spacewalk will be happening March 29 as part of National Women’s Month, Bridenstine said in the interview.
Astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will float into space to work on upgrades to the outside of the International Space Station, according to Space.com.
Koch and McClain’s spacewalk will mark only the fourth time in history that two women have served together on an expedition crew to the station.
Lead flight director Mary Lawrence will oversee the station crew from Mission Control and Jackie Kagey will serve as lead spacewalk officer. According to Mashable, Koch and McClain will be supported by an all-women crew at Houston’s Johnson Space Center.
The walk will last around seven hours, according to NASA’s website.
McClain and Koch were both a part of the 2013 astronaut class, according to CNN, half of which were women. The recent class of flight directors was also 50 percent women.
Women now comprise 34 percent of the active astronauts at NASA, according to the agency.