While NASA is working on their manned Mars mission, the NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine revealed that the first person to land on Martian soil is 'likely to be a woman.'
As reported by CNN, the 43-year-old American politician and NASA Administrator said that "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."
Even though the official did not reveal the name of the female astronaut but he said that women are at the forefront of the agency's upcoming manned space missions.
It should be noted that at the end of March, NASA has also scheduled its first ever all-female spacewalk. The 39-year-old Anne McClain and 40-year-old Christina H. Koch will get a chance to float around the space and the spacewalk will last for around seven hours.
"So these are great days. We have the first all-female spacewalk happening this month at the end of March, which is, of course, National Women's Month," said Bridenstine.
"Through their accomplishments and dedication to their jobs, women at NASA embody the essence of Women's History Month. They serve as role models to young women in their pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics," NASA stated.
The agency also said that both the female astronauts were part of the 2013 astronaut class and most of them were women. In addition to that, the agency said the recent class of flight directors was also 50 per cent women. According to NASA, currently, the women comprise 34 per cent of its active astronauts.
Bridenstine added, "NASA is committed to making sure we have a broad and diverse set of talent and we're looking forward to the first woman on the moon."
Anne McClain and Christina H. Koch: Who are they?
- Anne McClain is a Washington native and NASA astronaut. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering from West Point, a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bath in Bath, England and a Master of Science in International Relations from the University of Bristol in Bristol, England. She is a rated pilot for the C-12 Huron (King Air), UH-60 Blackhawk, and UH-72 Lakota and instructor pilot for the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. McClain is currently a part of the Expedition 58/59 crew that launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in December 2018.
- Christina H. Koch, a native of Michigan, completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015. graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Physics and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. Koch is currently assigned to launch March 2019 and will serve aboard the ISS as a flight engineer for Expedition 59 and 60.