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

NASA pulls all-female spacewalk due to suit fitting issues

NASA pulls all-female spacewalk due to suit fitting issues

"Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, March 29, Koch will wear it".

"The element that came into play here is the hard upper torso", she wrote.

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

Both McClain and Koch were members of Nasa's 2013 astronaut class, 50 per cent of which was made up of women, Nasa said.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: So the available sizes are medium, large and extra-large.

McClain became the thirteenth woman to perform a spacewalk on March 22. Both upcoming spacewalks will be streamed on NASA's website.

The original announcement about the spacewalk was met with huge praise earlier this month, with aerospace engineer Kristen Facciol tweeting her excitement about being selected for console during the event.

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"When you have the option of just switching the people, the mission becomes more important than a cool milestone", Ms. Schierholz said.

NASA's decision to cancel the all-female spacewalk provoked some backlash on social media, with some critics wondering if the agency was being risky in having women astronauts to do their "job in equipment that was built to accommodate men's bodies".

The first all-female spacewalk in history has now been put on hold.

The first woman in space, Dr Valentina Tereshkova was just 26 when she blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in 1963.

During these spacewalks (also called extravehicular activities or "EVAs"), astronauts will be upgrading the station's power system, replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new, more powerful lithium-ion batteries to power the station - tasks projected to take six to seven hours to complete.

The first woman to ever perform a spacewalk was cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya. That's because men have always outnumbered women in space. The center is in the midst of a hectic schedule, finishing up the third of its series of space walks and then sending resupply vehicles to the station in April, which limits the time to spend on the suits.

The third and final spacewalk for Expedition 59 is now scheduled on April 8, for Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques to upgrade the Canadarm2 with a redundant power cables, as well as upgrading the wireless communications coverage for the outside of the station. Unfortunately, astronaut Ann McClain will no longer be able to participate after recently discovering her inability to maneuver properly in the large-sized spacesuit. It's the first time in space for McClain and the first spaceflight for Koch.

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