The highly anticipated first all-female spacewalk has been canceled, NASA announced Monday, because the international space station is not equipped with enough room size.
NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch had planned to launch the spacewalk together on March 29 after another spacewalk that presented McClain and NASA astronaut Nick The Hague on March 22. Based on discussions with McClain and Koch after the first run, mission leaders decided to change tasks until March 29, NASA explains, "due to partial room access availability at the station."
During the March 22 stroll, McClain realized that her best fit was a medium-hard upper body ̵
"It is more efficient to switch space creators than to reconfigure the elements in the space," NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz told NBC News. It notes that a spacecraft's fit can affect an astronaut's ability to maneuver and perform tasks.
Editor's note: The update above was added March 26. The original story continues below.
In July 1984, cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to go into space. At the end of March, 35 years after the historic occasion, two women will lead the first all-female spacewalk.
NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch, supported by Canada's Air Controller Kristen Facciol in Houston, will perform a spacewalk scheduled for March 29. It will be the first time a spacewalk will only involve women.
Facciol broke the news on Twitter on March 1:
I just found out I will be on console that supports FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina and I can't hold my excitement! !! ! #WomenInSTEM #WomenInEngineering #WomenInSpace
– Kristen Facciol (@kfacciol) March 1, 2019
In a statement sent to CNN, NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz confirmed the news about The 6 March says: "As planned, March 29 is the first walk with only women, it is the second in a series of three planned walks. Anne will also be joining Nick The Hague for the March 22 spacewalk. And of course, Tasks and schedules can always change.
"It was not orchestrated to be so, these spacewalks were originally scheduled to take place in the fall," Schierholz added. "In addition to the two female spacewalkers, the leader of the airline is Mary Lawrence, and Jackie Kagey (also a woman) is the leading air controller, EVA (spacewalk)."
Anne McClain at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, during her expedition backing 56 in May 2018. (Photo: Elizabeth Weissinger / NASA / Wikimedia Commons)
The spacewalk is crooked to begin at. 6:30. EST and it should last about seven hours. It will flow on all NASA channels.
McClain and Koch were both chosen to be astronauts in 2013. Their astronaut class, group 21, consists of four men and four women, the highest percentage of women in a NASA astronaut class. The other two women from the group, Jessica Meir and Nicole Aunapu Mann, are currently awaiting flight duties.
"I think it's actually just a reflection of how many truly talented women are in science and technology these days," said NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins to The New York Times in 2013 on group 21.
McClain arrived aboard the International Space Station in December 2018, a member of the 58/59 crew expedition. Koch is scheduled to launch in space this week as part of the 59/60 crew expedition.
Spacewalks are carried out for a number of reasons from conducting experiments outside the international space station to test and repair equipment.
NASA cancels the first all-female spacewalk because of the lack of proper size room noise
NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will both still perform spacewalks, the agency says, just not at the same time.