Nasa's first all-female spacewalk cancelled due to spacesuit size issue

Nasa's first all-female spacewalk cancelled due to spacesuit size issue

Nasa's first all-female spacewalk cancelled due to spacesuit size issue

McClain and Christina H. Koch were scheduled to walk together in space on Friday (March 29), but they both need to wear a medium-size torso component. However, after completing the walk, she noted how hard it was to maneuver in the large suit and requested a medium suit for this week's spacewalk.

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

The International Space Station (ISS) is a $100 billion (£80 billion) science and engineering laboratory that orbits 250 miles (400 km) above Earth. While Friday's much-anticipated spacewalk will still take place, one of the two women scheduled for the journey, Anne C. McClain, will have to stay back.

"NASA said fitting spacesuits is tricky".

Meanwhile, her expected walk partner, Anne McClain, will watch from inside the station.

These spacewalks are months late, and with cargo deliveries coming up, NASA wants to keep everything on track.

Koch said in an interview last month that there were several spacewalks planned, and she would be "very excited to execute that mission". According to a spokesperson, there are two medium-sized units onboard, however only one can be ready in time, so Koch will go with Hague instead and history will have to be made another day. She said two upper parts in each of the three available spacesuit sizes are now held at the space station: medium, large and extra large. It took 20 years for NASA to officially hire its first female astronauts - its initial selection process required candidates to have graduated from military jet pilot testing programs, which didn't allow women. The two will spend 6.5 hours outside the station, continuing the work Hague and McClain started a week before, by swapping out older nickel-hydrogen batteries for new lithium-ion batteries, to upgrade the station's power systems. That's because men have always outnumbered women in space. McClain will do a spacewalk with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques on April 8. After her medical education and a brief general practice, Jemison served in the Peace Corps from 1985 to 1987, when she was selected by NASA to join the astronaut corps.

History's first all-female spacewalk was thwarted by a lack of smaller suits.

. Spacewalks, in particular, are physically demanding and often one of the most unsafe tasks an astronaut can perform.

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