NASA cancels all-female spacewalk because of suit availability

NASA cancels all-female spacewalk because of suit availability

NASA cancels all-female spacewalk because of suit availability

When McClain did her first spacewalk on March 22 with fellow Nasa astronaut Nick Hague, she felt that a medium-size hard upper torso spacesuit fit her best.

After some of the response, the agency clarified its reasoning on Twitter, explaining that it has more than one medium suit onboard - there just wasn't enough time to fit and adjust that piece ahead of Friday's spacewalk.

Others said they were sad that a milestone moment on women's space exploration had been deferred, but safety came first.

Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to carry out a spacewalk on July 25, 1984, Reuters had reported.

NASA has not rescheduled an all-female spacewalk yet, but Schierholz said that it will inevitably happen soon, given that 12 of the agency's 38 active astronauts are female. Kristen Facciol of the Canadian Space Agency would provide ground support at the Johnson Space Center in Houston as the two astronauts ventured outside of the International Space Station.


The problem is that the space station only has one medium-sized spacesuit that is ready for a spacewalk. Astronauts also conduct spacewalks to fix satellites or spacecraft that are already in space, instead of having them brought back to Earth to fix.

Astronaut Anne McClain was supposed to float out of the International Space Station this Friday with newly arrived Christina Koch, to replace old batteries.

But McClain will now give up her place on the mission to her male colleague Nick Hague, NASA announced late on Monday.

NASA later noted that there is a second medium-sized spacesuit torso on the station, but it is not now configured for a spacewalk. Koch will become the fourteenth on Friday, says NASA. Koch uses a medium, and while McClain thought she would work in a large size, she wore the medium during a spacewalk last week and discovered it fits her better. She is scheduled to partake in the upcoming April 8 walk. And, while the comfort and safety of the astronauts remains the most important aspect of any space mission, this last-minute reassignment seems to highlight the reality that many women will have to overcome additional career roadblocks working in a world created to accommodate men.

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