The EMUs on the ISS were designed more than 40 years ago, with a 15-year shelf life.
11 of the original 18 are still in use.
Only 4 are on the ISS.
Those are the only EMUs.
And they are still 40-year-old suits.
They are not designed to be refurbished in orbit.
There have been 27 "significant" suit failures. None have been fatal, although 5 had the potential to be.
BUT... we should also talk about being a woman in space.
However, many of the male astronauts could not fit into the L suits, so the XLs were brought back.
The small suits never were.
If you're too small for your suit, you have problems reaching the dials on the front of the EMU, which means you can't do things like control suit temperature.
Someone too small for their suit will drop inside it and be unable to see out of the helmet. Not a problem in space, but Earth is where they decide who gets to spacewalk.
I'm less okay with the causal chain that forced that decision.
There was no provision in the shuttle era.
There still isn't.
-What about the Russian spacesuit?
The Orlan isn't modular, so can't be adjusted to fit different astronauts. The size range of cosmonauts is significantly narrower. Russia has only flown 4 women.
They did. But after McClain's spacewalk, she realized that she needed a medium to do her job safely. In addition to the things I mentioned in the thread, the suits are pressurized to 4.3psi so like working against a hard spring.
Here! A giant report about that and the problems.
Until McClain did the spacewalk last week, she thought that a large would work. Think of this like wearing a pair of shoes that fits in the store, but it's different when you're on your feet all day.
The ISS maintenance is vital. The fact that it's all-women is an accident of scheduling caused when the Soyuz launch failed last year, shifting the staffing.
(Okay, no one has asked this, but y'all should.)
560+ people have been in space.
Only 63 of them are women.
The largest number of women in space at one time is 4.
The largest number of people in space at once is 12 men & 1 woman.