First all-female spacewalk cancelled due to lack of spacesuits

Michele Stevens
March 28, 2019

NASA spokeswoman Brandi Dean said Tuesday that McClain trained before flight in both medium and large spacesuits. NASA has a limited availability of spacewalking spacesuits and there is only one medium-size top on the space station. McClain, who did her first spacewalk last week, will sit this round out.

But now, NASA has decided that astronaut Nick Hague will take Ms McClain's place. After a successful spacewalk on March 22 by McClain and male astronaut Nick Hague, it seemed like all systems were go for the upcoming all-female walk on Friday.

The ISS crew had three spacewalks planned to do work on the exterior of the space station as part of Expedition 59. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no signs of slowing down. "I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to describe it", she said.

Today, there are no official plans for an all-women spacewalk via NASA.

McClain set out for the International Space Station in December, according to her biography.

You might wonder: How many people did this cut impact, really? Experts say they are the assemblies of several parts put together as best adapted to each astronaut's body.

It will be Koch's first spacewalk. She was selected as an astronaut for NASA in 2013. But the women in the astronaut corps themselves were opposed to the idea, because it would have been orchestrated as a "stunt", that would serve only to further tokenize them in the industry.

In 54 years of spacewalking, women have only gone outside with men.

That is not one small step for women. "Given the very busy operational schedule on board the station this spring...the teams made the decision to keep the schedule by swapping spacewalkers rather than reconfiguring a spacesuit", she added. It was, as Sullivan described, the natural outcome of more women rising up the ranks and being recognized for their work. "But Anne is still the 13th woman and Christina the 14th".

Spacewalks, also called extravehicular activity (EVA), usually last between five and eight hours and are conducted so that astronauts can make repairs on equipment or carry out experiments.

While history won't be made this week, these two women have already achieved unprecedented milestones at NASA.

There were no signs in the earlier spacewalk by McClain that the larger suit was a problem.

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