NASA has postponed first all-women spacewalk due to spacesuit issues (Photo: NASA)
NASA has postponed first all-women spacewalk due to spacesuit issues. Astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain were scheduled to set the record in space on March 29. The astronauts would have continued work installing lithium-ion batteries to outer parts of the International Space Station." Mission managers decided to adjust the assignments, due in part to spacesuit availability on the station," NASA said in a statement.
McClain, who demonstrated her battery-swapping skills during last week's spacewalk, will have to sit out this week due to a spacesuit sizing issue.
"McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso — essentially the shirt of the spacesuit fits her best. Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, March 29, Koch will wear it," NASA officials said.
"We will do our best to anticipate the spacesuit sizes that each astronaut will need, based on the spacesuit size they wore in training on the ground, and in some cases astronauts train in multiple sizes," Brandi Dean, spokeswoman of the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, told news agency AFP.
"In addition, no one training environment can fully simulate performing a spacewalk in microgravity, and an individual may find that their sizing preferences change in space," she added.
The pair, along with Hague, were selected as part of NASA’s astronaut class of 2013, which was the first class in NASA’s history to have an equal number of men and women.
NASA astronaut Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan became the first American women to perform an extra-vehicular activity during Space Shuttle Challenger mission.