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Despite criticism, NASA will not soon have 2 medium-sized spacesuits available



NASA is not planning to change the International Space Station's current space suit configuration which triggered criticism by size restrictions, which the agency had announced as the first spacewalk of all female astronauts. .

This statement came during a press conference held today (April 2) to unveil NASA's plans for a space walk on April 8, which will be the third in a series of field trips. This spacewalk will be conducted by NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques after the occupation of by McClain after their first spacewalk on March 22 was proposed. The remapping was prompted by the fact that is currently only a medium sized Hard Upper Torso unit as well as two large and one extra large unit ready for use in outer space.

"I think a lot of that is reflected in the crew" We have on board and what their requirements are, "said Kenny Todd, NASA's Operations and Integration Manager for the Space Station, during the press conference In the future, if we think that the crew is based on the crew, it is better to make things different in size, then we will certainly do so from a strategic point of view. "

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NASA's re-assignment caused a wave of indignation for disrupting the first female spacewalk, as McClain and her colleague Christina Koch stepped out of the station together on March 29. In recent days, the Lawmaker grilled NASA boss Jim Bridenstine on the kerfuffle the size of a space suit, and the former senator and president Candidate Hillary Clinton offered a righteous advice to NASA: "Make another lawsuit."

But during her first excursion McClain decided that she would prefer to use a medium-sized unit of the same size cook planned to use , She suggested to NASA, with the third NASA astronaut aboard, Nick Hague, who wears a large Hard Upper Torso, to change his role in the second of the three spacewalks.

McClain had trained in both medium and large units before making his way to Space Station, which is common for astronauts. "Many crew members can zoom in or out what we say," Todd said. "They have a main suit they fit in, namely where they train, but there is also some training done in other size suits to see if these suits work for them is just a standard way of doing business. "

Todd emphasized that the recommendation to redo the spacewalks came from McClain himself rather than a fallback option." If there had been a request, the HUT [Hard Upper Torso unit] or trying to change the size to a medium, this would certainly have been something we considered, but that was not the request, "he said.

Switching The torso units are a long and complicated process and McClain's spacewalks were only a week, as originally planned, and any additional spacesuit work would have the time available to science and a other tasks on board the Orbiting Laboratory influenced. However, switching spacesuit configurations is currently not on NASA's to-do list, even if it is a low-priority task, Todd said, pointing to a lack of demand due to the current occupation of spacewalkers on the station.

"We could absolutely do that If we needed it, if we had no choice but to swap the upper body, we could certainly do that," Todd said. "It's not something we do very often, and we take great care when we do it, and we want to make sure we have enough time to try it out."

Mail to Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels . Follow us on Twitter @SpaceTotcom and Facebook .


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