We were so ecstatic when we learned that the first all-female spacewalk was finally happening and scheduled for this Friday. Earlier this month, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) confirmed that astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain were both scheduled to walk outside the International Space Station on March 29. It was exciting news but apparently, NASA has since scrapped the spacewalk and all for a reason that’s quite infuriating — the International Space Station is not carrying enough spacesuits in the female spacewalker sizes. Seriously, what is that?
According to the agency, McClain realized during her first spacewalk with Nick Hague on March 22 that her spacesuit wasn’t the right size. She claimed that a medium-sized hard upper torso fits her best. You’re probably wondering why NASA can’t simply provide her with a medium-sized torso suit, right? “Because only one medium-size torso can be ready by Friday, Koch will wear it,” they said.
Because of this, Koch will now be doing the spacewalk with a male astronaut named Nick Hague. And just like that, the all-female spacewalk is off, due to lack of suits in the right size. How sad is that? We aren’t the only ones mad about this. Quite a few folks took to Twitter to vent about NASA’s change in plans.
“Gotta love the irony that because women have never spacewalked together before that there aren’t enough suits and there aren’t enough suits so the spacewalk can’t happen. What a joke,” @shannonmstirone tweeted.
So the planned first all-female space walk will not be… Because they don't have enough spacesuits that fit. https://t.co/AalHnnoo9g
— Charles Bergquist (@cbquist) March 25, 2019
Gotta love the irony that because women have never spacewalked together before that there aren't enough suits and there aren't enough suits so the spacewalk can't happen. What a joke.
— Shannon Stirone (@shannonmstirone) March 25, 2019
It’s ironic and very upsetting that an event that would have made history is no longer happening because NASA didn’t make sure to have two suits in the right size ready for their astronauts. Was it so hard to plan in advance? And how do they ONLY have one medium size spacesuit available?
NASA tweeted: “We’ve seen your tweets about spacesuit availability for Friday’s spacewalk. To clarify, we have more than 1 medium size spacesuit torso aboard, but to stay on schedule with @Space_Station upgrades, it’s safer & faster to change spacewalker assignments than reconfigure spacesuits.”
We’ve seen your tweets about spacesuit availability for Friday’s spacewalk. To clarify, we have more than 1 medium size spacesuit torso aboard, but to stay on schedule with @Space_Station upgrades, it’s safer & faster to change spacewalker assignments than reconfigure spacesuits. pic.twitter.com/tPisBHaF2p
— NASA (@NASA) March 26, 2019
Regardless, shouldn’t they have looked into this before announcing the first all-female spacewalk? We’re extremely disappointed, to say the least.
Meanwhile, in other space related news, Vice President Mike Pence is giving NASA five years to put American astronauts back on the moon. Considering the disappointment with this now cancelled all-female spacewalk, we’re hoping that a number of those astronauts that will eventually make their way back to the moon will get to be women. Hopefully, NASA gets the suit sizing right next time.