OPINION: The space sounds like the future. This rocket ships and astronauts, Buck Rogers and Captain James T. Kirk
But our vision of the future built in the 1950s, sexism – and not only our ideas, but the actual infrastructure of space travel. How can we boldly go where no one has ever set, when two women, apparently, can not in open space, at the same time?
This week, it would seem, a great opportunity for PR NASA has turned into a disaster if the first all-women spacewalk scheduled in the history of the agency 50 years was written off due to logistics.
The spacewalk was by chance in the first place. In the past year Soyuz spacecraft crashes during startup, which is shifted to the staffing table for the International Space Station, bringing astronauts Ann McLane and Kristina Ko be stationed there at the same time.
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It is enough to say that there are two women in space at any given time of the accident. But the scenario has worsened after the first spacewalk McClain last week, when she realized that she needed to use the average size of extravehicular Mobility unit, which astronauts used for spacewalks. Just Koch.
Trains have been developed over 40 years ago, when all the astronauts were men. Eleven of the original 18 are still used, but only four designed for space travel and all those who are on a space station.
There are two medium-sized hard upper torso for trains at the station, but because the only people who make a spacewalk last year were men with large and very large suits, other medium hardness of the upper body is not ready for use. This procedure takes a few hours of effort, without margin for angular cutting.
There are only six people on the station, and time deadlines.
Size fits not a question of aesthetics. Cady Coleman, astronaut space shuttle era, had to improvise to wear padding inside EMU, when she was in Lab neutral buoyancy, in the school, where the astronauts exit practice in open space.
This put her at a disadvantage, as NASA decides who gets the opportunity spacewalks on the basis of their performance in the NBL.
When astronauts are too small for the solid parts of the upper body of their trains, they are faced with many problems, such as loss of mobility or problems that reach the dials that control the suit the temperature in the vacuum of space. History Musgrave suffered frostbite on his toes during the test equipment in 1993, Gemini astronauts had problems with overheating. Improper fit is not only a matter of comfort, but safety.
If NASA does design logistics and equipment, especially for women, the results may be out of order – or revealing.
The first American woman in space, Sally Ride, had to explain that women do not need 100 tampons for one week mission. The agency has also developed a set of cosmetics for women astronauts who travel laughed. But her colleague, Rhea Seddon requested it, because she knew how the media represent women who are & # 39 appeared without makeup.
NASA was aware of a problem with the electric trains for decades, but not enough money to create new ones. All they can do is try to keep the 40-year-old is going to suit carrying a ten-year mark of sexism at the moment.
Why are we asked to adapt our own space suits just to participate in space exploration? What expectations do we carry in the future, when we need to understand how to meet the expectations clearly earthly beauty?
I talked to my friend Kari Love, a retired designer suit, who said that "while we can look back and understand why women were an afterthought in the aerospace up to this point, we Sur & # 39; a serious risk to be played, as we move into the era of commercial space flight. "
Solution restaff in outer space, with astronaut Nick Haig join Koch was absolutely correct. Astronauts need to be safe. With all the women in the open space was an accident. This is not a & # 39 is a priority. We have never been a priority.
In the future, NASA and commercial space flight, it's time to move our priorities to include all.