- The first all-female spacewalk was scheduled to happen on March 29.
- But now, it won’t happen because NASA doesn’t have enough spacesuits in the correct sizes for two women.
- So instead of sending two women on the mission, NASA will send one woman and a man.
- People are baffled.
- From jokes to critical thought, here’s what people had to say on Twitter.
The first all-female spacewalk was scheduled to happen on Friday, March 29.
Astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Hammock Koch were scheduled to perform the historic spacewalk – a routine mission to replace batteries outside the International Space Station (ISS). On the ground, lead flight director Mary Lawrence and spacewalk flight controller Jackie Kagey were slated to support McClain and Koch at mission control.
As INSIDER’s Dave Mosher reported, a NASA spokesperson previously said the spacewalk was “was not orchestrated to be this way.”
But what was once lauded as a happy accident is now leaving people befuddled.
On Monday, NASA announced a change of plans due to a lack of proper equipment. Specifically, both McClain and Koch can’t go on the mission because there is only one size medium space suit available.
“McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso – essentially the shirt of the spacesuit – fits her best,” NASA said in a statement. “Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, March 29, Koch will wear it.”
Instead, McClain, who had been training in a different size space suit, will be replaced by astronaut Nick Hague. At this time, NASA has not planned another all-female spacewalk.
Online, people were dismayed by the news.
Many felt that it just didn’t make sense.
NASA just announced there will be NO all-female spacewalk March 29 after all. Turns out one of the female astronauts learned a medium-sized hard upper torso spacesuit fit her best, and only one can be ready in time. The astronauts–Christina Koch and Anne McClain–are engineers.
— Sandra Guy (@sandraguy) March 25, 2019
How did they not consider this before they scheduled and announced it? https://t.co/G5vJ14AgAk
— Fran Berkman (@FranBerkman) March 26, 2019
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 pic.twitter.com/a8HF4lIDs6
— Fatima Syed (@fatimabsyed) March 26, 2019
In 1969 NASA could send a man to the moon but in 2019 they can't get a second spacesuit made in time for the all-female spacewalk of two. ???? https://t.co/0qTWgzYJmF
— Kristyn Wong-Tam (@kristynwongtam) March 26, 2019
Some people felt that it was pretty fitting for 2019.
Who needs satire when you have reality? First all-woman space walk canceled because they don't have two of the right sized space suits. https://t.co/ytah6KZj4L
— Kristina Olson (@olsonista) March 26, 2019
So the first all-women spacewalk has been cancelled because there aren’t enough spacesuits available in right size. I can almost hear the tired sighs of every woman who has ever attended a science conference and asked for a t-shirt that fits. https://t.co/KVbO9mEpFT
— Catherine Q. (@CatherineQ) March 26, 2019
And yes, there were jokes.
The first all-women NASA space walk has been postponed due to spacesuit issues which I strongly suspect is lack of pockets.
— Betty (@BoomBoomBetty) March 25, 2019
NASA just canceled the first all-female spacewalk because it won't have enough suits that fit women astronauts ready in time.
I guess sexism really can transcend the Earthly plane. https://t.co/vmAXI1KUDl
— Erin Blakemore (@heroinebook) March 25, 2019
On Tuesday, NASA attempted to quell concerns that had arisen. The changes, although disappointing to many, had the astronauts’ safety in mind, the tweet said.
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
UPDATE: March 26, 2019: This post was updated to include a tweet from NASA.
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