NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch were set to make history with a series of spacewalks at the International Space Station, but it was announced Monday that the historic spacewalk will be delayed because of spacesuit issues.
The station only has one medium sized space suit available. Astronaut Nick Hague is now scheduled to join Koch on the walk Friday.
As part of Expedition 59, the astronauts were set for a series of three spacewalks to complete work on the ISS. On March 22, Hague and McClain conducted the first in the series. McClain and Koch were set to go out together on Friday to continue work on installing powerful lithium-ion batteries for one pair of the station’s solar arrays.
“However, after consulting with McClain and Hague following the first spacewalk, mission managers decided to adjust the assignments, due in part to spacesuit availability on the station,” reads a statement from NASA.
“McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso — essentially the shirt of the spacesuit — fits her best. Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, March 29, Koch will wear it.”
McClain and Koch will both be making history during this mission by being the 13th and 14th women to perform a spacewalk.
As for the third spacewalk in the series, McClain is tentatively scheduled to be joined by Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques on April 8.
The NASA website shows the spacewalk will last about seven hours.