On March 25 2019, NASA announced it would launch the first all-female spacewalk of two women at the International Space Station. Yet, days after the announcement was made, the spacewalk was cancelled as there was only one space suit that would fit a woman. Months later, the historic spacewalk was completed, yet the incident highlighted the gender gap that remains in space.
Given Space 2.0 is bringing unprecedented opportunities for nations, building on humanity’s first endeavours to reach space by increasing accessibility, improving technology, and rapidly growing the surrounding space industry, ensuring our progress does not outpace the development of the right kind of space sector remains a crucial challenge. Whilst we know that women’s inclusion in international affairs results in better decision-making and higher levels of collaboration and consensus and the ‘business case’ for diversity can be made on moral and strategic grounds, currently, inclusion, diversity, equality and access (IDEA) in space is not guaranteed.