NASA Cancels First All-Female Spacewalk Due to Spacesuit Size Issues

NASA cancels first all-women spacewalk due to lack of small spacesuits

According to sources only one space suit could be made available by Friday, 29 March and Koch will wear it, NASA said. But McClain pulled herself from the lineup because there's not enough time to get two medium suits ready for them. Two hard upper torso parts in each of the three available spacesuit sizes are now held at the ISS: medium, large and extra large.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch and McClain were originally slated to head out into the vacuum of space together to continue work on a project to upgrade the batteries for the station's solar power system.

NASA responded to accusations of sexism Wednesday over its decision to cancel a planned historic spacewalk by two women astronauts due to a lack of well-fitting spacesuits.

McClain later tweeted of Koch and Hague's Friday spacewalk, "Tune in - history is made every day up here!"

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The NASA announcement was met with disappointment and anger by many following the much-anticipated mission on social media, with some arguing an all-female spacewalk was overdue. But after last week's spacewalk, she decided that a large would be too big.

The mission would have been a fitting landmark moment during Women's History Month, though NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz tells CNN's Gianluca Mezzofiore that it "was not orchestrated to be this way" and "assignments and schedules could always change". That extra space inside the suit can be less noticeable when working in Earth's 1-gravity environment. "For example, temperature is controlled through a rotary dial on the front of the EMU, which means smaller astronauts face visual and mechanical disadvantages that limit their ability to properly control suit temperature".

In her tweet, Hillary urged to "Make another suit".

"When they launch ... we know pretty well what suit size they are, but of course your body changes slightly in space due to fluid shifts or spine elongation, so we do re-fit suits to the crewmembers and make sure that they have the optimal fit to ensure efficiency when we're going outside for a spacewalk", Mary Lawrence, NASA's spacewalk flight director, said in a news conference on March 19. Evidently, NASA only carries sizes for men. The other suits, which are considered backups, can't be pulled out and used immediately, and they must be prepped for use in space.

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