Friday, 19 April, 2019

United States space agency cancels first all-female spacewalk

NASA cancels first all-women spacewalk due to lack of small spacesuits - The Jakarta Post NASA Scrapped The Historic All-Women Spacewalk
Cary Marshall | 29 March, 2019, 22:05

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

But on Monday, the agency announced that male astronaut Nick Hague would be joining Christina Koch for the spacewalk in place of Anne McClain - though that doesn't mean the first All female spacewalk won't happen in the near future.

As NASA explains in its blog, McClain was supposed to conduct the spacewalk with Christina Koch on March 29. He will now make a spacewalk on April 8 with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. Ensuring the safety of each astronaut's life is mission critical, so a decision was made that McClain was to be swapped out, so a larger male colleague can go instead.

McClain and Koch were both part of the 2013 NASA class that was 50 percent women.

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

"On the International Space Station, there are just four spacesuits available out of a total of just 11 spacesuits that NASA has in total for the ISS", said spacesuit expert Pablo de Leon. For the second spacewalk, NASA was planning to have McClain wear the larger size so that her slightly smaller counterpart could wear the medium.

More news: Trump threatens to close USA border with Mexico next week

Nasa's big all-female spacewalk has been cancelled because one of the spacesuits that would have to be used didn't fit the astronaut.

The New York Times, quoting a NASA spokeswoman, reported that there are two medium-sized torsos now on the ISS but "one has yet to be properly configured for a spacewalk".

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

Still, given the significance of the all-female space walk and considering that the agency has been charged with the daunting task of returning to the Moon "with innovative new technologies and systems", one would have thought that the suit situation would have been looked into before publicising this first-of-its-kind momentous event. And, in a nutshell, it all has to do with astronauts growing in size while in orbit.

Schierholz refutes any immediate need for a new space suit. When the suits were originally designed for the shuttle program some 40 years ago, NASA had planned to offer a broader range of sizes to accommodate as many astronauts as possible.

The suit doesn't fit - seriously?!

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