Published: Вт, Марта 26, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

NASA says NO to first all-female space walk - chooses MAN instead

NASA says NO to first all-female space walk - chooses MAN instead

NASA explains Anne McClain and Christina Koch were scheduled on Friday for the second of three spacewalks at the International Space Station, but they have since discovered that they only have one spacesuit that fits both women ready and available on the station.

But Nasa says the ISS has only one medium-size hard upper torso spacesuit that fits best each of the two women.

While McClain was on the assignment - which was also her first spacewalk - she found that the best-fitting "shirt" of the spacesuit was medium-sized.

On their spacewalk, Hague and Koch are tasked with replacing older, nickel-hydrogen batteries, with lithium-ion versions for one pair of the station's solar arrays.

NASA astronaut Anne McClain during her March 22 spacewalk. This coming Friday, Koch will become the 14th, while McClain's next space journey is scheduled for April 8.

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It's a continuation of the work performed on the first spacewalk, and the battery upgrades are set to be performed over the next couple of years.

Spacewalks, also called extravehicular activity (EVA), usually last between five and eight hours and are conducted so that astronauts can make repairs on equipment or carry out experiments. That attention, though, created a backlash in social media when NASA announced the reassignment, with some people accusing the agency of sexism for not having enough medium-sized suits on the station or not being willing to delay the spacewalk until a solution could be found to allow Koch and McClain to perform an EVA together. She said the agency had no concrete plans for an rescheduled all-female spacewalk, but noted one is increasingly likely because NASA astronauts have been diversifying in terms of gender.

She worked outside the Soviet space station Salyut 7 in 1984.

For now, it does not seem that NASA will try to do another women-only spacewalk in the near future.

'We 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, ' she said.

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