NASA cancels first all-female spacewalk over ill-fitting spacesuit

Pablo Tucker
March 29, 2019

That's because men have always outnumbered women in space.

But NASA said the ISS has only one medium-size hard upper torso - essentially the shirt of the spacesuit - which is the size that best fits each of the two women.

The 39-year-old originally thought a large-sized spacesuit would be fit for objective, but following a spacewalk last week decided that a medium would be safer.


Anne McClain during a spacewalk on the ISS on March 22. After all, NASA says there's two of every size of space suit on board the ISS, so why can't both McClain and Koch wear the same sized suits? For the second spacewalk, NASA was planning to have McClain wear the larger size so that her slightly smaller counterpart could wear the medium. But after last week's spacewalk, she decided that a large would be too big. "Based [on] her experience in the first spacewalk in the series, McClain determined that the medium was a better fit for her in space", Schierholz said.

This was supposed to be a history-making week for NASA, with the first all-female spacewalk originally planned to take place on Friday.

"Mission managers chose to adjust the assignments, due in part to spacesuit availability on the station", Nasa said.


United States astronaut Anne McClain, member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), gestures prior to the launch of Soyuz MS-11 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, in December 2018.

"Leaders must make tough calls, and I am fortunate to work with a team who trusts my judgement". "We must never accept a risk that can instead be mitigated".

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


"We fully anticipated that we were going to be able to do the first all-female spacewalk", Bridenstine told a House Committee on Appropriations subcommittee during a hearing on the agency's proposed fiscal 2020 budget.

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