Meet the NASA astronaut who could be the 1st woman to set foot on the moon in 2024

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- For 205 days Jessica Meir was quite literally on top of the world.

As a NASA scientist and astronaut on board the International Space Station, Meir made history in October 2019 while conducting the first all-female spacewalk with fellow astronaut Christina Koch.

Meir said it was only until after she got back inside that she started to think about the significance of that.

"And it really did start meaning a great deal to me when I realized how many people around the world had tuned in to watch us that day. And for whatever reason, whatever thing they were identifying with, people were connecting with that moment and being inspired by it," she added.

Meir said her interest in space exploration began as a young girl looking up at the stars from her home state of Maine. She was also inspired by seeing other women in the space program.

"I think the nice thing for me was that it just seemed normal. You know it didn't seem like 'Oh wow there's a woman.' To me it just seemed like she was part of the team doing her job and it just made sense that any of us could participate and do it," she said.

Her next venture with NASA could take her to the moon. Meir is among the 18 astronauts under consideration for the 2024 Artemis Lunar Exploration Program. The trip to the moon's surface would provide a launching pad for future exploration to Mars.

"We'll be going to different destinations. We'll be landing in different areas, we have so many scientific experiments and questions already posed to set us up for that."

She hopes her adventures here on Earth and in space will encourage the next generation of children to also reach for the stars.

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