NPR

NASA Scraps First All-Female Spacewalk For Want Of A Medium-Sized Spacesuit

Two female astronauts were set to become the first women to spacewalk together around the International Space Station this week. But they both wear medium spacesuits, and only one was space-ready.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

That is not one small step for women.

History was supposed to be made Friday when, for the first time, two female astronauts were scheduled to do a spacewalk together outside the International Space Station. However, one of the astronauts was switched out this week because of a lack of "spacesuit availability."

NASA astronaut Anne McClain had trained in both medium- and large-sized upper torsos — "the shirt of the spacesuit." But last week, she wore a medium on her first spacewalk, where she helped swap out aging batteries that store energy collected by the station's solar panels.

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