Historic All-Female Spacewalk Canceled Because There Weren’t Enough Spacesuits in the Right Size

Female astronaut for NASA

Anne McClain and Christina Koch were set to make history, taking the first ever all-female spacewalk for NASA … and then NASA scrapped the mission because there weren’t enough spacesuits for Anne McClain. Koch is still set to go on a spacewalk, joined by male astronaut Nick Hague.

Half the reason this spacewalk was so amazing was because it was taking place during Women’s History Month, but the mission was scrapped because there was only one size medium spacesuit in the entire International Space Station. NASA, with all its resources, didn’t think about spacesuits before announcing this big event.

Look, I love space exploration. I love space and often receive gifts from my family with the NASA logo on them because I love learning about all that’s out there in the universe, so the idea that the first ever all-female spacewalk was happening during Women’s History Month delighted me.

The ISS crew had three spacewalks planned to do work on the exterior of the space station as part of Expedition 59. The first walk was done by McClain and Hague earlier this month, and Friday, Koch and McClain were sent to finishing it up. They were installing powerful lithium-ion batteries to solar arrays.

From the announcement until now, NASA had all that time to go secure another size medium. They just … didn’t? Basically, each woman gets to go on a spacewalk, but Nicholas Hauge gets to go twice?

Sure, I guess the lack of a spacesuit can be an excuse, but it just feels like an oversight that shouldn’t be happening from NASA. McClain says that the medium fits her best, and there is only one available for Friday, so Koch will be using it.

Anne McClain shared this on Twitter, a brilliant image of her in space, and it just makes me want the all-female walk that much more.

According to NASA, the all-female walk will still happen eventually, just not on Expedition 59. Hopefully, by then, NASA will learn to have more than just one of any given size available for their astronauts to wear in space.

(image: DMITRI LOVETSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

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