“History was supposed to be made Friday when, for the first time, two female astronauts were scheduled to do a spacewalk together outside the International Space Station. However, one of the astronauts was switched out this week because of a lack of ‘spacesuit availability.’” – NPR, 3/26/19
The team here at NASA is proud to announce that this Friday’s historic all-female spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS) will now include a male astronaut and one less female astronaut. We are still considering this a historic event because it is the first time in NASA’s history that an all-female spacewalk was canceled and replaced with a male-female spacewalk.
Our mission experts would like to address the media’s claims that this is an example of “gender oversight.” First off, 30% of NASA’s staff are women. That’s a lot of women! How could we not see women out of one hundred men, when thirty of those men would actually be women? And at least one of those women would be named Karen, and god forbid you accidentally ate her snack yogurt. For the last time, Karen, we’re sorry!
Second, It’s not NASA’s fault that both female astronauts use medium spacesuits and only one medium suit is ready for the spacewalk. Do you know how much work goes into prepping a suit for spacewalks? You have to scrub the suit and then vacuum seal it and then blah blah blah — who has the time to do all of this? So we’ll just put a man in a large suit and call it a day.
Also, just FYI, none of us here at NASA even realized we had scheduled two female astronauts for the spacewalk. Scheduling isn’t a perfect science; we just draw names out of a hat. It was an accident — a historical accident — that we scheduled two women for the walk. How were we supposed to make sure we have enough “female-sized” spacesuits if we didn’t know the schedule in advance? We’re not psychic — if we were, we wouldn’t have eaten Karen’s yogurt because we would have known in advance that she would be really pissed if we did.
Look, all of us at NASA are super sad that, uh… I want to say Samantha? … won’t be taking part in the spacewalk. To be honest, it would have been less of a walk and more like watching two women change the batteries of a giant flashlight anyway. Not that exciting for history, right? That being said, we are so stoked that male astronaut Michael “Mike” Michaels will be joining… Sharon?… for the walk. Plus we are one-hundred percent certain he will fit into a large spacesuit; we had one tailor-made for him before he took off for space.
We’ll try to figure out a way to have another all-female spacewalk in the future, but again, it all comes down to whatever we draw out of the hat. Until then, if you want to see females in space, we’re quite fond of Jane Fonda in the sci-fi classic, Barbarella — talk about knowing how to fit into a spacesuit!