Space Agency NASA said scheduled for March 29, the EVAs of the female Duo that was to complete work on the installation of new batteries on the outer surface of the International space station. The reason is banal in the extreme – the correct size of suit. In the end, instead of an astronaut Anne McClain paired with Cristina COC will work astronaut Nick Hague.
“Nick Hague, and Christine Kok is now preparing to conduct the second spacewalk on Friday, March 29, during which they will continue during previous spacewalks, the installation of lithium-ion batteries on a couple of solar station antennas”, — stated in the message Agency.
“Coke had to perform a spacewalk with an astronaut Anne McClain. However, after discussions with McClain and Bryant after their first release (March 22), the heads of mission took the decision to change teams, partly the decision was taken because available on the station spacesuits,” explained NASA.
A NASA spokesman Stephanie Shierholz on his page on Twitter reported that McClain spent training in space suits size “M” and “L”. But during the first spacewalk, McClain realized that she was better suited torso of the suit (top) size “M”. Shierholz notes that it is easier and faster to replace astronaut than to prepare another suit. Therefore, the only available option 29 Mar get Christina Kok.
And it is not only in the fact that NASA does not have enough space suits for astronauts-women (any suit is modular in design and can be converted into the size of a man). Just the American space Agency in General there is a shortage of suits.
In 2017, NASA published a report on the spacesuits currently used on the ISS, where noted that they are so old that maybe even “does not reach” before the official end-of-support of the ISS program, the closing of which is expected in 2024.
“Among 11 existing fully functional 4 suits are on the ISS, and the remaining 7 on the Ground. Now they repair and inspect”, — was stated in the report.
The Agency is also developing a brand-new spacesuit Z-Series Pressure Garment System, however, their creation would require a lot of money and time, in conditions of already distributed funding – things are scarce.
As for McClain, according to preliminary data, it will be able to go into space on 8 April, to spend works on maintenance of the station, with canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. At the same time, NASA noted that the exact composition of participants in the third of this year’s planned spacewalk will be approved after the completion of the work entrusted to the Hague and the COC.
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