Initially, the first all-female spacewalk was scheduled for March this year, however, NASA decided to postpone it, citing “spacesuit availability”.
“NASA announced Friday that the International Space Station’s two women will pair up for a spacewalk later this month,” reports Fox News. “Astronauts Christina Koch and the newly arrived Jessica Meir will venture out Oct. 21 to plug in new, upgraded batteries for the solar power system. It will be the fourth of five spacewalks for battery work. The first is Sunday; Koch will go out with Andrew Morgan.”
As Women’s History Month kicked off in March, feminists were ecstatic over news that astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch would be partaking in a historic spacewalk on the International Space Station as part of Expedition 59. Unfortunately, astronaut Ann McClain was unable to participate after discovering her inability to maneuver properly in the large-sized spacesuit. Since NASA could not supply her with a medium-sized spacesuit, McClain was replaced by a male astronaut.
“Last week, NASA astronaut Anne McClain wore a large-sized spacesuit to conduct her first spacewalk, where she helped swap out aging batteries that store energy collected by the station’s solar panels,” reported NPR at the time. “While she was working, she realized that her suit was too big to maneuver in comfortably. Instead of the large, she would need a medium-sized hard upper torso — what NASA calls ‘the shirt of the spacesuit.’”
“Two mediums existed on the ISS, but only one was prepped for a spacewalk,” the report continued. “Instead of devoting extensive crew time to make the extra medium-sized suit space-worthy by Friday, NASA decided to restaff: Nick Hague will go in McClain’s place and do the walk with Christina Koch.”