NASA accused of sexism after it cancels first women space walk

Suit issue ends first all-women spacewalk

That enthusiasm was curbed, however, when NASA said that nope, sorry, it was calling off that whole all-female spacewalk thing.

As NASA explains in its blog, McClain was supposed to conduct the spacewalk with Christina Koch on March 29.

McClain will get another shot at spacewalking April 8 when she ventures outside with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

McClain made the decision to stay behind and let Nick Hague complete the spacewalk with Koch, according to Bridenstine.

There have been 213 space walks outside the ISS since 1998 for the purposes of maintenance, repairs, testing of new equipment or science experiments, according to NASA.

Koch will become the 14th on Friday.

Bigelow Aerospace habitat
NASA Scrapped The Historic All-Women Spacewalk

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.

That said, NASA does have a general spacesuit shortage, according to Berger: there are only 11 now in service, all of which were originally designed way back in the 1970s.

Referencing the fact that the required spacesuit size was simply a medium, Colbert asked a rather good question.

"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.

Spacesuits don't always fit quite the same on Earth as they do in space. And, in a nutshell, it all has to do with astronauts growing in size while in orbit. Unfortunately, the extra height didn't help with the fit of the large HUT.

Even though the cancellation is due to the suits' availability-not their existence-it still begs the question of why there aren't more medium-sized torsos already aboard and ready to go, especially after NASA graduated its most recent class of flight directors, a full 50 percent of whom were women.

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