Aerospace & Defence

NASA Cancels All-Female Led Spacewalk Outside ISS

NASA Cancels All-Female Led Spacewalk Outside ISS

An issue in spacesuit sizing has canceled the all-women spacewalk, but the mission remains unchanged.

Previously, it was declared that NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch were scheduled to conduct a spacewalk outside the international space station to install powerful lithium-ion batteries for ISS’s solar arrays on March 29, 2019. However, due to the unavailability of an appropriate suite, the astronaut Anne McClain has withdrawn herself from the walk who will be replaced by the astronaut Nick Hague. On March 22, 2019, McClain successfully conducted a spacewalk with Nick Hague where she realized that a medium-size torso component is needed for the walk.

At the moment in a space station, only one such suit is ready which will be used by Christina Koch hence, McClain withdrew her name. Of course, the mission itself is on. The astronauts will still install the gigantic lithium-ion battery on Friday in a six-hour mission to power the research laboratory. NASA has decided that Koch and Hague will wear those suits already prepared at the station. The NASA astronauts were supposed to carry out three spacewalks in March and April to change the aging nickel-hydrogen batteries with lithium-ion ones.

As the spacewalk is at the end of this week, McClain is likely to perform another spacewalk with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques on April 8th to lay out the jumper cables. However, it is yet to be confirmed by NASA. Before the plan was changed, it was set to be an all-women spacewalk. Kristen Facciol from the Canadian Space Agency was in a console for excursion whereas Jackie Kagey and Mary Lawrence were to serve lead spacewalk flight controller and lead flight controller respectively. However, after the change, it is unclear when will be the all-female spacewalk will occur.