For the past few years, NASA has completed more than 200 spacewalks for the construction and maintenance of the International Space Station. However, only 15 women have ever been on a spacewalk, and most of the time, they were accompanied by men. For the next three months, NASA has scheduled a series of 10 spacewalks which they refer to as "a cadence that has not been experienced since the assembly of the space station was completed in 2011.” And this time around, an all-female spacewalk will be conducted.
|Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons|
Initially, NASA scheduled an all-female spacewalk last March. However, it didn’t push through due to a lack of properly fitted spacesuits. According to CNN, an American news-based pay television channel, the decision was made by astronaut Anne McClain, who was supported by the teams. In an interview, Brandi Dean with NASA's public affairs office said, "We do our best to anticipate the spacesuit sizes that each astronaut will need, based on the spacesuit size they wore in training on the ground, and in some cases (including Anne McClain's) astronauts train in multiple sizes.”
"However, individuals' sizing needs may change when they are on orbit, in response to the changes living in microgravity can bring about in a body. In addition, no one training environment can fully simulate performing a spacewalk in microgravity, and an individual may find that their sizing preferences change in space,” he added.
|Photo Credit: CNN|
Recently, NASA announced that they will be attempting an all-female spacewalk this coming October 21. According to Live Science, a science news website that features groundbreaking developments in science, space, technology, health, the environment, our culture, and history, it will be the fourth in the said series of spacewalks which will be led by astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir. This will be the first time that the two women will do a spacewalk together.
|Photo Credit: @NASA on Twitter (via CNN)|
In a tweet, NASA also announced the pairings for the upcoming spacewalks.