The first person on Mars is 'likely to be a woman', NASAAdministrator Jim Bridenstine has said.
"It's likely to be awoman, the first next person on the Moon. It's also true that the first personon Mars is likely to be a woman," CNN cited Bridenstine as saying on ascience and technology radio talk show "Science Friday".
The NASA administrator did not identify a specific person butsaid women are at the forefront of the agency's upcoming plans.
NASA will also have its firstall-female spacewalk at the end of the month, when astronauts Anne McClain andChristina Koch will get to float around in space. The spacewalk will last aboutseven hours, according to the US space agency.
"So these are great days.We have the first all-female spacewalk happening this month at the end ofMarch, which is of course, National Women's Month," Bridenstinesaid.
Both McClain and Koch were partof the 2013 astronaut class, half of which were women. They came from thesecond largest applicant pool NASA has ever received — more than 6,100. Themost recent class of flight directors was also 50 per cent women, NASA said.
NASA has come a long way since1978, when the first six women joined NASA's astronaut corps. Currently, womencomprise 34 per cent of its active astronauts, according to the agency.
"NASA is committed tomaking sure we have a broad and diverse set of talent and we're looking forwardto the first woman on the moon," Bridenstine said