NASA pulls all-female spacewalk due to suit fitting issues


You’re just going to have to wait a little longer for an all-female spacewalk.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain were scheduled to walk together in the historic moment, but NASA has pulled the event due to suit availability on the International Space Station.

Fellow NASA astronaut Nick Hague completed the first of the series of spacewalks last Friday with McClain, who found out that a particular suit size fit her best. Unfortunately, there’ll only be one suit available in this size — and it also fits Koch.

Because of that issue, mission managers decided Hague will be sent out instead of McClain, and will join Koch on the second spacewalk this Friday. 

“McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso — essentially the shirt of the spacesuit — fits her best,” NASA said in a statement online. “Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, Mar. 29, Koch will wear it.”

On their spacewalk, Hague and Koch are tasked with replacing older, nickel-hydrogen batteries, with lithium-ion versions for one pair of the station’s solar arrays. 

It’s a continuation of the work performed on the first spacewalk, and the battery upgrades are set to be performed over the next couple of years.

McClain’s next spacewalk will instead take place on Apr. 8, where she’ll be sent out with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

They’ll lay out cables to provide power to a Canadian-built robotic arm, Canadarm2, as well as installing cables to help expand wireless communications outside of the ISS.

Friday’s spacewalk is expected to take 6.5 hours, and you can catch it live on NASA’s website.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*