The recent all-female spacewalk was canceled because Anne McCain felt the medium sized suit was the correct choice for her for safety reasons, and there weren't enough medium sized suits. Of course, the inventory of space suits was chosen back in a time when astronauts were male, and typically more heavily built.

Total ISS Visitor Count: 227 people - 34 women.


List of female astronauts aboard the ISS includes 34 female astronauts and can be seen on the above link. I have streamlined the results into the list of ISS female astronauts who have actually completed 1 or more EVA's, provided Wikipedia can be trusted.

Only 8 out of the 34 females which were aboard the ISS actually performed EVA's, listed above. Have any of the above female astronauts found the large torso size to be the correct fit for them, or have they all found the medium to be the correct size?

  • $\begingroup$ Hope you don't mind my edit, probably the best solution to match site rules. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Mar 28 '19 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ There are no complete suits in sizes small, medium and large. "The Shuttle EMU has always been a modular system. By using combinations of various parts, literally thousands of sizing variations can be achieved." from this NASA paper. Torso, arms, gloves and legs assemblies, each in different sizes are combined to a suit. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Mar 28 '19 at 20:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Your comment about the initial suit design is incorrect, it was carefully done so that by correct choices of the pieces 98% percent of the US population (both sexes) could wear a suit. The problem is that many of the parts are now expended and only a subset of those remaining are on the ISS, and only a subset of those are ready for use at a given time. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 29 '19 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ Also, you are omitting a lot of shuttle based female EVAers. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Mar 29 '19 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ @omitting the space shuttle evas was quasi intentional, because my interest lies in the small number of working suits onboard the iss, and what stars would have to align for an all female walk. If McClain is the first woman to be able to wear a large torso, that would say something about their options. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Mar 29 '19 at 3:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.