NASA nixes 1st all-female spacewalk due to suit-sizing issue

NASA nixes 1st all-female spacewalk due to suit-sizing issue

NASA has aborted its mission for a first-ever all-female spacewalk around the International Space Station because there are not enough spacesuits to fit the female astronauts, the agency said.

"McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso - essentially the shirt of the spacesuit - fits her best". According to a spokesperson, there are two medium-sized units onboard, however only one can be ready in time, so Koch will go with Hague instead and history will have to be made another day. They will continue the first spacewalk's task of replacing batteries that store energy from the station's solar arrays. Then, on March 25, NASA released a statement saying it had updated the second spacewalk assignment, partly because of a lack of space suits available on the station.

"We've seen your comments about the spacesuit availability for Friday's spacewalk", the agency said in a Facebook post.

McClain worked outside the station last week - with Hague - when she realized that a "medium"-sized upper half of her spacesuit fit her better".

The problem is that the space station only has one medium-sized spacesuit that is ready for a spacewalk.

The third spacewalk in the series is scheduled for April 8. People are skeptical about the "clothing-excuse" given by NASA.

McClain and Koch will both be making history during this mission by being the 13th and 14th women to perform a spacewalk.

"Two mediums existed on the ISS, but only one was prepped for a spacewalk", the report continued. Fewer than 220 of these walks have occurred since the ISS launched into orbit in 1998.

"I do not want to turn to a young girl who has all the talent in the world, becomes an extraordinary engineer, but isn't the right size, to tell her, 'I'm sorry but our nation can't build a suit for you, '" Dunbar said, reports NPR.

While the notion of the first all-female spacewalk being canceled due to a wardrobe malfunction sounds like an over-the-top Onion headline, it is sadly all very real.

McClain, a US Army officer and a pilot, was chosen in June 2013 to join Nasa's 21st astronaut class.

Spacewalks, also called extravehicular activity (EVA), usually last between five and eight hours and are conducted so that astronauts can make repairs on equipment or carry out experiments.

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