Just like your average department store, NASA’s lack of size options in the women’s department, has just impacted history.
A historic spacewalk was scheduled to occur this week with only women operating outside the ISS for the first time ever, but the mission was aborted due to ill-fitting suits.
The second of three planned spacewalks will now be performed by a man and a woman: Nick Hague and Christina Koch.
According to NASA, last week when Hague performed the first operation with astronaut Anne McClain, there was an issue with the fit of McClain’s spacesuit: “In what is essentially the “t-shirt” area of the Enhanced EMU suit astronauts wear on spacewalks, the Hard Upper Torso (H.U.T.) comes in three sizes: Medium, Large and XL. McClain had trained in both the medium and large sized units, but discovered that the medium size worked better for her. 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.”
Astronauts are typically measured extensively before their missions, but there is no way to simulate the extended effects of zero gravity on their body and earlier this month Anne McClain tweeted that she’s grown by two inches since launch.
According to NASA they do have the equipment, and the suits can be reconfigured, but the team decided to swap space walkers instead of adjusting the various parts on the suit around a new torso.
Well, here’s hoping for a girls-only mission sometime in the near future!
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