Life Science NASA cancels first all-female spacewalk because it didn’t have two fitting spacesuits

NASA cancels first all-female spacewalk because it didn’t have two fitting spacesuits

Christina Koch, a member of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 59/60, tests her spacesuit on March 14. Photo: AFP/Getty
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NASA has been forced to cancel history’s first all-female spacewalk because it was unable to provide two properly fitting spacesuits for the astronauts.

Christina Koch and Anne McClain were scheduled to conduct the walk at the International Space Station on March 29, but because only one suitable spacesuit is available, Ms Koch will now be joined by Nick Hague.

“McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso – essentially the shirt of the spacesuit – fits her best,” a NASA statement read.

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

The aim of the mission is to continue the installation of “powerful lithium-ion batteries for one of the station’s solar arrays”.

Ms McClain became the 13th woman to perform a spacewalk when she conducted one with Mr Hague on March 22, NASA said.

Ms Koch will become the 14th on March 29.

Christina Koch (centre) assists fellow astronauts Nick Hague (left) and Anne McClain before they begin the first spacewalk. Photo: NASA

NASA said McClain is tentatively scheduled to perform her next spacewalk – the third in this series – on Monday, April 8 with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

They will lay out jumper cables between the Unity module and the S0 truss, at the midpoint of the International Space Station’s backbone.

They also will install cables to provide for more expansive wireless communications coverage outside the orbital complex, as well as for enhanced hardwired computer network capability.

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