Published: Fri, March 29, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

NASA accused of sexism after it cancels first women space walk

NASA accused of sexism after it cancels first women space walk

However, for International Space Station astronauts an ill-fitted spacesuit marred what would have been a historic all-women spacewalk.

McClain was scheduled to conduct the spacewalk with fellow astronaut Christina Koch to install lithium-ion batteries on the station.

McClain had noticed a week prior that the top half of the suit, or "shirt", she had been using was too big to use outside the ISS and decided it be safer for someone else to take her place.

McClain made the call after her first spacewalk when she decided she would be more comfortable in a medium suit rather than a large. "Because only one medium- size torso can be made ready by Friday, Koch will wear it".

Washington, D.C: National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA) is facing the accusation of propagating sexism after it cancelled first women space walk.

Anne McClain during a spacewalk on the ISS on March 22.

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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. "Safety of the crew and execution of the mission come first". Even former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton chimed in on Twitter, suggesting NASA "make another suit".

Spacesuits don't always fit quite the same on Earth as they do in space. The other suits, which are considered backups, can't be pulled out and used immediately, and they must be prepped for use in space.

"Astronauts who do not fit comfortably into available suit sizes can have increased accessibility issues", according to a report from the NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG).

Further complicating the matter, astronauts often grow taller while in space. Unfortunately, the extra height didn't help with the fit of the large HUT.

Here's hoping NASA takes OT up on its offer and McClain is given another chance to bust a zero-gravity glass ceiling.

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