NASA astronaut Christina Hammock Koch
This was in part due to the fact the space agency doesn’t have enough space suits that fit the astronauts. Early this month, NASA announced that Christina Koch and Anne McClain would take part in a first of its kind mission on March 29. In the past, missions have been an all-male affair, with ground crew and astronauts being predominantly male.
Christina Koch and Anne McClain were to make history at the International Space Station on March 29 by being the first women to carry out a spacewalk and to be given instruction by an all-female ground team.
The two female astronauts were to swap out batteries on the outside of the International Space Station.
But now, NASA has decided that astronaut Nick Hague will take Ms McClain’s place.
In a press release on Monday, NASA said its plans had changed, “in part” due to a shortage of outerwear.
NASA Astronaut Christina H Koch of the ISS Expedition
Ms McClain said she “learned during her first spacewalk that a medium size hard upper torso, essentially the shirt of the spacesuit, fits her best.”
Only one such top can be made by Friday, the agency said, and it will go to Koch.
Before the swap, Friday’s spacewalk was set to be led by women both in space and on the ground.
Kristen Facciol of the Canadian Space Agency announced that she would be on console for the excursion.
NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch and Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin
Mary Lawrence and Jackie Kagey would serve as lead flight controller and lead spacewalk flight controller at the ground control.
For now, it does not seem that NASA will try to do another women-only spacewalk in the near future.
The first woman to ever perform a spacewalk was cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya.
She worked outside the Soviet space station Salyut 7 in 1984.