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All-female spacewalk is a ludicrous casualty of all-male assumptions

28/03/2019 17:10
March is Women's History Month, so it would have been a great moment for the first all-women spacewalk, with astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch. That was NASA's plan this week,

In 1963, the Soviet Union made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space, but it took another 20 years for Sally Ride to become the first American woman to break that barrier. Mass and volume are precious commodities in a rocket -- shouldn't women have been well suited to the program from the beginning?

NASA started selecting women astronaut candidates in 1978. In 1984, Kathryn Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space. She wore the Extravehicular Mobility Unit modular space suit, which was designed to fit 95% of women and of men. This ecumenical approach to tailoring didn't last, however.


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