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Spacesuit issue stalls NASA all-woman spacewalk


Astronauts Jessica Meir and Christa Koch


Washington: Citing lack of right sized spacesuit on the International Space Station (ISS), NASA on Tuesday cancelled the all-woman spacewalk that was scheduled for March 29.

Earlier, the US space agency had announced that astronaut Christina Koch along with Anne McClain will take a spacewalk on March 29 to work on a second set of battery replacements on a power channel on the ISS. 

However, NASA decided to change the assignments "due in part to spacesuit availability on the station", the space agency said in a statement. 

McClain had on March 22 conducted the first spacewalk in this series, along with Nick Hague. 

During this spacewalk she "learned that medium-size hard upper torso - essentially the shirt of the spacesuit fits her best".

Only one such medium-size torso could be made ready by March 29, NASA said, and Koch will wear it during the second spacewalk with Hague.

Koch and Hague will continue work started on the first spacewalk to install powerful lithium-ion batteries for one pair of ISS's solar arrays.

When McClain took part in a spacewalk last week, she became the 13th woman to do so, NASA said, adding that Koch will be the 14th. 

McClain is now "tentatively scheduled" to perform her next spacewalk -- the third in this series -- on April 8 with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

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