NASA Cancels All-Female Spacewalk Because It Doesn’t Have Enough Spacesuits in Women’s Sizes

Christina Koch was one of the astronauts due to take part. Only 11% of people who have been to space are women.
Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

Nasa’s plans for an all-female spacewalk have fallen through – at least in part because the agency doesn’t have enough spacesuits that fit the astronauts.

Early this month, Nasa announced that Christina Koch and Anne McClain would take part in the first-of-its kind mission on 29 March, walking outside the international space station (ISS) to install new batteries. In the past, missions have been all-male or male-female.

But in a press release on Monday, Nasa said its plans had changed, “in part” due to a shortage of outerwear. McClain had “learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso – essentially the shirt of the spacesuit – fits her best.” Only one such top can be made by Friday, the agency said, and it will go to Koch.

When McClain took part in a spacewalk last week, she became the 13th woman to do so, Nasa says; Koch will be the 14th. McClain is now “tentatively scheduled” to perform her next one on 8 April.

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SOURCE: The Guardian, Matthew Cantor