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Ms McClain said she "learned during her first spacewalk that a medium size hard upper torso, essentially the shirt of the spacesuit, fits her best". However, she decided after the March 22 spacewalk that a medium fits her better.

To mark the event, which comes 35 years after Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space, Nasa also ensured that the flight directors, Kristen Facciol and Mary Lawrence, were women too. She will serve as the flight engineer for Expeditions 59 and 60 on the International Space Station.

But NASA said they are going to adjust the assignment personnel because there is only one suitable spacesuit available for two women. Two astronauts will still head outside the space station to install batteries to power the research laboratory. Hopefully, by then, NASA will learn to have more than just one of any given size available for their astronauts to wear in space.

As Sullivan told it, this was not the first time that an all-female crew for a spacewalk has been discussed.

NASA astronauts Christina Koch, left, and Anne McClain, Star City near Moscow, Russia, during their training for their upcoming mission which will include the first-ever all-female spacewalk.

Koch said in an interview last month that there were several spacewalks planned, and she would be "very excited to execute that mission".

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This is obviously a rather disappointing development but, as NASA has warned in the weeks leading up to the spacewalk, plans often change rapidly.

The spacewalk is still set for Friday, though the work of installing lithium-ion batteries on the station's solar panels will continue with NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Anne McClain switching places.

The third spacewalk in the series is scheduled for April 8.

Koch and Hague will now complete the next spacewalk on Friday, March 29.

Unlike other male-dominated industries, NASA rarely gets much attention from feminists, primarily due to the fact that the number of female astronauts in space has been steadily increasing since Sally Ride came onto the scene in 1983.

But, "what really gives me the greatest satisfaction", Sullivan said, about the now-canceled spacewalk, is that "it isn't a stunt, [it's a] effect of there being enough women now in the astronaut ranks, now in the flight ranks, now serving as flight directors".


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