NASA announced on Monday that it would be canceling its upcoming first ever all-female spacewalk, due to the fact that they don’t have enough spacesuits in the right size. Come on, NASA. Women finally find a place to walk that men won’t bother them and now they can’t go?
NASA spokeswoman, Stephanie Schierholz, said “Anne trained in ‘M’ and ‘L’ and thought she could use a large but decided after [last] Friday’s spacewalk a mediumfits better.” Apparently only size medium suit would be available and it will be used by one of the women on the mission, Christina Koch, The Guardian reports.
This means that one of the two women on the mission, Anne McClain, now has to give up her spot to a male astronaut.
“In this case, it’s easier (and faster!) to change space-walkers than reconfigure the spacesuit,” Schierholz explained.
McClain became the 13th woman to take part in a spacewalk last week, and Koch will be the 14th. McCain is also “tentatively scheduled” to do another spacewalk on April 8.
— Anne McClain (@AstroAnnimal) March 25, 2019
Still, people on social media were pissed.
Make another suit. https://t.co/mu9w13xsi0
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 26, 2019
“Make another suit,” Hilary Clinton tweeted. along with the headline about the cancelation.
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
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) March 26, 2019
Doesn’t NASA…. make the suits? https://t.co/3SqjCqvSnF
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) March 26, 2019
Wow, the boys in the sewing room really dropped the ball on this one.
— Mary Soulbirdr (@SoulBirdr) March 26, 2019
This is such a microcosm of… everything right now. https://t.co/1dJF1k4Q8Z
— Beth Newell (@bethnew) March 26, 2019
I thought this was an @TheOnion headline. Jeesh.
— Cira (@NordicSunGod) March 26, 2019
If we can land people on the moon, surely we can find a solution to this quandary.
— Kristiana Bruneau (@GumptionAndCo) March 26, 2019
Yeah because we’ve only had women astronauts for *checking my calendar* thirty years. Sounds legit.
— Featherty (@featherty) March 26, 2019
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40 years. (2 Russian women preceded Sally Ride). pic.twitter.com/y5TdOcPoGM
— Adam Strassberg (@adambstrassberg) March 26, 2019
Humanity: Able to land a rover on Mars and communicate with it, or have a probe get close to a comet hurtling through space.
Also humanity: Hmm, we don't seem to have this in your size, Woman Astronaut.https://t.co/JzyV2g3IJi
— Olivier Knox (@OKnox) March 26, 2019
Oh my god. I’m too tired for this. pic.twitter.com/iZ3OPxjwgU
— Emma Julia Jacobs ???????? (@EmmaBunnie) March 26, 2019
8-year-old Fatima — who desperately wanted to be an astronaut and always kept a space pocketbook with her (& still has it) — is extremely disappointed in the patriarchy for failing to give her the historic moment the world has waited 35 years for.https://t.co/RpVH8Jqjus
— Fatima Syed (@fatimabsyed) March 26, 2019
But some said they appreciated that safety came first and they knew that an all-female spacewalk will happen at some point.
I'm suuper disappointed about the all-woman spacewalk not happening as scheduled this Friday but I'm also super supportive of astronauts having the authority to say "I would be safer using a different piece of equipment." An all-woman spacewalk WILL eventually happen. https://t.co/LRob2RHvxq
— Emily Lakdawalla (@elakdawalla) March 25, 2019
Okay seeing a lot of negativity on here, but I just updated our post: this was apparently due to an astronaut's decision about what she feels most comfortable wearing during an EVA. So keep that in mind. https://t.co/Jz2GMSejsT
— Loren Grush (@lorengrush) March 25, 2019
Better to be safe than rush to make a historical bullet point.
— Richard J Werhle Jr (@rwerhle) March 26, 2019
It certainly will happen at some point (it would be nuts for it not to) but it is disappointing that it’s so long overdue.
h/t: The Guardian