NASA Calls Off First All-Female Spacewalk Over Odd Problem

NASA scraps all-women space walk for lack of well-fitting suits

"McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso - essentially the shirt of the spacesuit - fits her best", a NASA statement read. However, only one has been configured for Friday's spacewalk, for Koch to wear.

She thought she could use a large one, but changed her mind after her first real spacewalk. She will serve as the flight engineer for Expeditions 59 and 60 on the International Space Station. I love space and often receive gifts from my family with the NASA logo on them because I love learning about all that's out there in the universe, so the idea that the first ever all-female spacewalk was happening during Women's History Month delighted me.

The NASA announcement was met with disappointment and anger by many following the much-anticipated mission on social media, with some arguing an all-female spacewalk was overdue. Two astronauts will still head outside the space station to install batteries to power the research laboratory.

The problem is that the space station only has one medium-sized spacesuit that is ready for a spacewalk.

Astronauts on the ISS often venture out into the vacuum of space to conduct various tasks. Mission managers have now "updated the assignments" for the spacewalk because they only have one medium-size spacesuit torso available on Friday, March 29, when the space walk is scheduled to take place.

NASA later noted that there is a second medium-sized spacesuit torso on the station, but it is not now configured for a spacewalk.

Astronaut Christina Koch - a MI native - is still set for the scheduled Friday, March 29 spacewalk outside of the International Space Station.

Hague and Koch will continue work on a project to upgrade the ISS solar array battery storage system. Koch will go out with a male crewmate, Nick Hague.

The plan is for the pair to lay out jumper cables between the Unity module and the S0 truss, at the midpoint of the station's backbone, during their April 8 spacewalk.

Less than 11 per cent of the more than 500 people who have been to space have been women.

Before the swap, Friday's spacewalk was set to be led by women both in space and on the ground.

McClain, a U.S. Army officer and a pilot, "wanted to be an astronaut from the time I was 3 or 4 years old", she said in a 2015 NASA video interview.

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