An all-female spacewalk was canceled by NASA due to the lack of proper size diving suits.
NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch were to participate in the first all-female spacewalk on March 29th. The space agency however announced on Tuesday that "partly because of the availability of the space suit on the station", the missions have been modified.
Koch will now be associated with astronaut Nick Hague. The two men will work to install powerful lithium-ion batteries for the International Space Station during their mission. This will be the second exit in the space of a series of three projects planned by NASA.
The first space release in the series was conducted by McClain and Hague last Friday. NASA stated that it was during this mission that McClain had discovered "a medium-sized upper torso – essentially the shirt of the space suit – suited him best".
The problem is that Koch is the same size – and only one medium-sized torso component is readily available on the space station.
The New York Times, quoting a NASA spokeswoman, said that there were two medium-sized torsos on the ISS but that "one of them n & # 39; Has not yet been configured correctly for space output. It would take hours of crew work, not to mention additional risks, to deal with this problem in time for Friday's mission.
Brandi Dean of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, told Agence France-Presse that while NASA is doing its best to anticipate the size of the space suit each astronaut will need, the needs of each no one in sizing can change the changes in microgravity can cause a body. "
Dean said that space suits are available in medium, large and very large sizes.
"No training environment can totally simulate a microgravity spacewalk, and an individual may find that their sizing preferences change in space," she said. .
Since the launch of the satellite in 1998, more than 200 spacewalks have been organized at the ISS. They were all performed by teams exclusively male or mixed.