NASA canceled the first all-female spacewalk because the International Space Station does not have spacesuits in the correct size, NBC News reports. Astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain were scheduled to perform the spacewalk together on Friday, but the plans to do so have been halted "due in part to spacesuit availability on the station," NASA said on Monday.
McClain reportedly realized during her first spacewalk last week with fellow astronaut Nick Hague that a medium-sized hard upper torso fits her best. “Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, Koch will wear it," NASA said. The spacewalk scheduled for March 29 will now be performed by Koch and Hague. McClain is currently scheduled to perform her next spacewalk with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques on April 8.
Neither Koch nor McClain commented on the matter on their Twitter accounts, which astronauts often use to update the public from the space station. The decision to cancel the plan received criticism on social media as many users criticize NASA for not having enough spacesuits that fit women on the station. Spokeswoman for NASA Stephanie Schierholz told NBC News that there are two medium-sized hard upper torsos on the station, but one is a spare that requires additional configuration to use.