It was supposed to be the first all-female spacewalk in history. Here’s why a man will take one of the spots instead.
Talk about an epic wardrobe malfunction.
Days before the first-ever all-female spacewalk was planned, the spacewalk will now be conducted by a man and a woman — NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch — instead of Koch and American astronaut Anne McClain.
The event, which would have been a historic occasion for NASA and humankind, was changed up because … groan … there’s only one spacesuit that best fits both female astronauts onboard the International Space Station.
“McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso — essentially the shirt of the spacesuit — fits her best,” NASA announced Monday. “Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, March 29, Koch will wear it.”
Since 1998, there have been 214 spacewalks at the space station.
Here’s the reaction — the good, the bad and the disbelief — from social media.
One Twitter user expressed frustration felt ’round the world: “I’m still not over the fact that NASA spacesuits aren’t designed appropriately for women even though the 1st solo female spacewalk happened 35 years ago & the 2 women set to do the all-female spacewalk Friday were part of Nasa’s 2013 class, which was 50% female. They. Had. Time”
Throughout the disbelief of the all-female spacewalk cancellation, there were tweets suggesting the logistical difficulty for NASA to fix the spacesuit situation: “Sad to hear the all female space walk has been canceled, but happy these these amazing women were given the ability to decide what they are comfortable with in terms of their safety @NASA“
“I saw a documentary once about how complicated space suits are, so I realize it’s not like going to H&M and buying a cheap suit off a rack. Having said that … an all female spacewalk is cancelled (sic) because they don’t have a medium?! I can’t.”
Contributing: Antonia Jaramillo, FLORIDA TODAY
Sangalang is a digital producer at FLORIDA TODAY.
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About the spacewalk
The spacewalk is scheduled to start at 8:20 a.m. Friday, March 29, but live coverage will begin at 6:30 a.m. on NASA TV. This will be the 215th spacewalk for the International Space Station and if everything goes accordingly, NASA astronaut Christina Koch will be the 14th woman to perform a spacewalk.
These brave women are here to remind you that you can do anything.
Rachael L Thomas, FLORIDA TODAY
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