An Out-Of-This-World Fashion Emergency
Image Source: Rolling Stone
How many times have you stood in front of your closet while getting ready for work and said to yourself, “I have nothing to wear!”?
Chances are, you actually had plenty of wardrobe options, but just weren’t really feeling any of them. However, for one of the NASA astronauts who was about to embark on a historical all-female spacewalk, this was literally the case because of the lack spacesuits available in smaller sizes for the team. So, the spacewalk was successfully completed by astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague, who replaced Anne McClain.
The lack of medium-sized spacesuits to fit smaller female bodies shines a light on some inherent gender-bias within NASA (and in STEM fields overall). Previously, NASA had cut small and extra-large sizes for spacesuits due to budgets. However, because many male astronauts could not fit in the size large suits, they brought back extra-larges to accommodate them. But they never did bring back the size smalls that may better fit females.
Of course, due to safety, NASA could not push forward with the spacewalk with two female astronauts just for the sake of history. And they couldn’t delay the spacewalk to prepare another medium-sized spacesuit, since of course, the astronauts actually had work to do: install lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station’s solar arrays. However, it still remains highly disappointing that even in outer space, females face the same sexist problems as here on Earth.
Posted by Sylvie