The first ever all-female spacewalk, a historical leap for womankind, has been canceled for now due to lack of space-suit of the right size. The spacewalk, although, was not meant to be a historical moment and was scheduled as a routine to change the powerful lithium-ion batteries of the International Space Station (ISS). The significance of the original lineup for the Friday’s “extravehicular activity” (EVA) was recognized only after the schedule was discussed in a meeting, said NASA officials at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The two astronauts, Anne C. McClain, and Christina H. Koch would both need to wear a medium-size torso―essentially the shirt of the spacesuit― component. Ms. McClain had thought that she would be able to work in a large sized torso, but after her spacewalk last Friday, she wore a medium-size torso and learned that it fit her better. Of the two medium-size torso only one is readily available at the International Space Station. The other one has yet to be configured properly for a spacewalk and could take hours. Instead of that NASA decided to simply switch out the astronauts. The mission itself is unchanged.
On Friday, Ms. Koch is still scheduled to participate, along with a fellow male astronaut Nick Hague. In the end, both women will have done a spacewalk ― just not together. The lithium-ion batteries being installed on this mission store solar energy when the space station, orbiting earth at a distance of 200 miles is not directly receiving sunlight.
Muhammad Abdullah Khan has done bachelors in Chemistry from Government College University
Lahore. He is a science enthusiast and loves to read and write about astronomy, cosmology and latest