An artistic illustration of NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars. (Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University)

Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of NASA, anticipates that the first person to visit Mars will be a woman.

On Science Friday, a weekly radio talk show, Bridenstine said that a female astronaut “is likely” to make the first steps on the Red Planet, which would be a major milestone for the space sector. Bridenstine also highlighted how NASA aims to send a female cosmonaut as the next first person on the moon, The New York Post reported.

“The answer is absolutely. In fact, it’s likely to be a woman, the first next person on the moon,” Bridenstine said on the show. “It’s also true that the first person on Mars is likely to be a woman.”

Bridenstein’s announcement follows another major update for women in space: Later this month, NASA is conducting the first all-female spacewalk. The spacewalk, which is scheduled for March 29, will feature astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch, who will be supported by women on the ground, including NASA flight director Mary Lawrence and CSA control team member Kristen Facciol.

“I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina and I can not contain my excitement,” Facciol wrote on Twitter.

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Koch and McClain’s spacewalk will be live-streamed on NASA TV at the end of March.

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