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Spacesuit issue cancels first all-female spacewalk

Spacesuit issue cancels first all-female spacewalk

There is only one medium top that can be made ready in time for the next spacewalk on Friday, the agency said, and it will go to Koch. As NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reported in 2006, opportunities for women may have been hampered by the fact that spacesuits only came in medium, large, and extra-large sizes.

Spacesuits are made of several components, but the issue for McClain was that the large-sized hard upper-torso was too big for her.

McClain inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory module of the International Space Station.

Koch will now be partnered with male astronaut, Nick Hague. "There were a lot of circumstances that got us here", said Kenny Todd, manager for ISS operations and integration at NASA, during the same briefing. McClain will do another spacewalk on April 8 using the medium-sized suit.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: Yeah. So NASA said that last week when Anne McClain went, she was the 13th woman to go spacewalking.

"An all-woman spacewalk WILL eventually happen". She will do the spacewalk with Nick Hague.

"I'm super disappointed about the all-woman spacewalk not happening as scheduled this Friday but I'm also super supportive of astronauts having the authority to say "I would be safer using a different piece of equipment", wrote Emily Lakdawalla, a senior editor at the US non-profit The Planetary Society.

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She added there are two medium-size hard upper torsos available on the space station, but only one is now configured for use-the other is a spare.

Both astronauts were members of NASA's 2013 astronaut class, half of which was comprised of women.

Nasa said the two female astronauts had prepared to continue work outside the International Space Station installing lithium-ion batteries for the space station's solar arrays.

All three spacewalks will still take place, but none of them will be the historic all-female spacewalk that NASA had planned.

Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the for women to walk in space in 1984 when she worked outside the Salyut 7 space station. That's because men have always outnumbered women in space.

McClain's next spacewalk will instead take place on April. 8, where she'll be sent out with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques. Basically, they only realized it would be women-only after Koch and McClain were assigned. In this case, a last-second change has derailed things a bit, but with NASA sending more female astronauts to the ISS than ever before, it likely won't be long until they get another shot at making history.


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