First all-female spacewalk scrapped due to spacesuit sizing issue

nasa first all female spacewalk

Sad news for those who were looking forward to the first all-female spacewalk this week — the event has been scrapped due to a lack of correctly sized spacesuits.

The plan was for NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch to take a spacewalk together outside the International Space Station to install new batteries on Friday, March 29. This would have been the second part of a mission that began last week when the first set of new batteries were successfully installed. It would have also made history as the first time that a spacewalk was completed by all-female personnel.

The astronauts were required to scrap the plan and rearrange the walk, however, due to the availability of spacesuit parts. The upper part of the spacesuits, called the hard upper torso (HUT), is available in sizes medium, large, and extra large. McClain had used both medium and large sizes in training, but when she was on her spacewalk last week she found that she preferred the medium size.

This caused an issue as Koch also wears a size medium. While there are two medium-size HUTs available, it was not possible to make both of them ready in time for the spacewalk on Friday.

Instead of the walk being completed by the two women, Koch will take part in the spacewalk as planned and she will be joined by her male colleague, Nick Hague.

McClain will get the chance to perform another spacewalk though on April 8 when she is scheduled to perform a spacewalk with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques. During this mission, the pair will lay out jumper cables between the ISS’s Unity module, the oldest of the three modules, and the S0 truss which forms the central backbone of the station.

This later walk aims to connect a backup power path for the robotic exterior arm which performs assembly and maintenance by moving equipment around the station. The Canadian-built arm is called Canadarm2.

The spacewalks on March 29 and April 8 will be the 215th and 216th respectively in the history in the ISS. In this time, 13 women have participated in spacewalks and when Koch goes out for her spacewalk she will become the 14th woman to do so.

Those who are still hoping to see an all-female spacewalk shouldn’t give up hope, however. NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz said that it is bound to happen soon. “We believe an all-female spacewalk is inevitable,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

Emerging Tech

NASA is building an inflatable space robot named King Louie

NASA is funding an inflatable robot called King Louie which could travel to the stars in deflated form and then be blown up when and where required. Here is why that's so exciting.
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Emerging Tech

Resupply mission carries 7,600 pounds of scientific equipment to ISS

The Cygnus spacecraft has rendezvoused with the International Space Station as part of a months-long resupply mission. The craft will remain docked until July 23, while the crew take in the 7,600 pounds of research equipment it carried.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…
Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.
Emerging Tech

Climeworks wants to clean the atmosphere with a fleet of truck-sized vacuums

Using machines that resemble jet engines, Climeworks wants to fight climate change by extracting CO2 from thin air. The gas can then be sold to carbonated drink and agriculture companies, or sequestered underground.
Emerging Tech

How 3D printing has changed the world of prosthetic limbs forever

When he was 13 years old, Christophe Debard had his leg amputated. Here in 2019, Debard's Print My Leg startup helps others to create 3D-printed prostheses. Welcome to a growing revolution!
Emerging Tech

Geoengineering is risky and unproven, but soon it might be necessary

Geoengineering is a field dedicated to purposely changing the world's climate using technology. Call it 'playing god' if you must; here's why its proponents believe it absolutely must happen.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Earth Day, indoor container farming, robot submarines

Today on Digital Trends Live, we discuss how technology intersects with Earth Day, a new Tim Cook biography, indoor container farming, robot spy submarines, A.I. death metal, and more.
Gaming

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.
Emerging Tech

Hawaiian botanists’ drone discovers a plant thought to be lost forever

In what may well be a world first, botanists in Hawaii recently used a drone to find a species of plant that scientists believed was extinct. The plant was located on a sheer cliff face nearly 20 years after its last sighting.
Emerging Tech

Alphabet’s Wing drones now have FAA approval to deliver packages in the U.S.

Alphabet Wing has become the first company to receive Air Carrier Certification from the FAA. This means that it can begin commercial deliveries from local businesses to homes in the U.S.
Emerging Tech

A battery-free pacemaker harvests and stores energy from heartbeats

Researchers in China and the United States have developed a new battery-free pacemaker which gathers its required electricity from the energy of heartbeats. Here's why that's so exciting.