March 29 was supposed to be a new mark in space history, because it was planned to conduct a fully female mission. However, NASA decided to change the composition. Why?
Earlier, we described the details of the mission being prepared in the article “For the first time two women will go out into open space”. On March 22, 2019, astronauts McClain Ann Charlotte and Tyler Haig completed the space walk. Their goal is to install adapter panels on the electrical panel, to which three new batteries were then connected. This mission took more than 6 hours and became a successful preparation for the next task - the installation of solar panels.
On March 29, McClain and Christina Cook, who arrived at the International Space Station on March 14, were to take care of this. Previously, women performed similar actions outside the ISS, but since 1984 (the first female exit) they have always worked in tandem with men.
The concrete exit should become the first completely female. In addition, the entire mission consisted in the participation of only women: two astronauts behind the ISS, Mary Lawrence - the head and Jackie Keigi at the controls. However, recently announced a change of composition. What happened?
Why was the female exit canceled?
It turns out that the reason is the most banal. It's all about the size of the spacesuit (yes, they also have sizes). After the mission on March 22, McClain realized that a suit with an average parameter (size “M”) is better suited for her breast coverage. But NASA realized that by the time of March 29, the crew members would have time to prepare only one model M, which Christine Cook also needs.
Of course, the mission was not canceled, but the composition was changed. We decided that the spacesuit will try on Cook, who will install solar panels along with Haig. And then, on April 8, McClain together with David Saint-Jacques will continue to be engaged in maintenance in the open space.
Of course, a little silly that they decided to change the mission because of the size of the spacesuit and the lack of a suitable one. However, we are talking about space, where every little thing can cost the lives of astronauts. Therefore, we wish good luck to the crew members who are preparing to take a space walk, and we hope that one day the full women's mission will take place.