Anne McClain, the astronaut who had to pull out of Nasa’s first all-female spacewalk, has said that the decision was based on her recommendation.
Disappointment was expressed by many when it was announced by the space agency that the historic moment would no longer go ahead this coming Friday, over an availability issue of the correct sized spacesuit.
Ms McClain was originally set to join Christina Koch, but Nasa had to swap her out for male astronaut Nick Hague instead, because of a late request to change the spacesuit to a smaller size.
The 39-year-old originally thought a large-sized spacesuit would be fit for purpose, but following a spacewalk last week decided that a medium would be safer.
“This decision was based on my recommendation,” Ms McClain tweeted from aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
“Leaders must make tough calls, and I am fortunate to work with a team who trusts my judgement.
“We must never accept a risk that can instead be mitigated. Safety of the crew and execution of the mission come first.”
There is more than one medium-size spacesuit torso on board the ISS, Nasa explained, but it would not be able to make it available in time for Friday.
To date, spacewalks have all been entirely male-led or a mix of male and females, but never all-female.
The space agency has not stated when it will try again to make an all-female spacewalk happen.