NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Akihiko Hoshide from Japan’s JAXA space agency were set to suit up and head outside the International Space Station for a spacewalk on Tuesday. It won’t be happening due to a “minor medical issue” involving Vande Hei.
NASA announced the postponement on Monday. The agency didn’t disclose details of the medical issue, but said it was not an emergency. Vande Hei and Hoshide were gearing up for a nearly seven-hour spacewalk designed to prep the station for the installation of a new roll-out solar array.
“The spacewalk is not time-sensitive and crew members are continuing to move forward with other station work and activities,” NASA said. The agency is looking at rescheduling the work for after the launch of SpaceX’s cargo spacecraft on Aug. 28 and after some planned Russian spacewalks.
Vande Hei is an ISS and spacewalk veteran who previously spent time on the station in 2017 and 2018. He arrived at the ISS in April for a six-month mission.
The ISS has seen its share of excitement recently after welcoming a new Russian laboratory module that temporarily pushed the station out of orientation. It was also supposed to host a Boeing Starliner test flight, but that launch was pushed back due to technical problems. NASA and the ISS crew and ground teams have had to be adaptable to unexpected circumstances, so the spacewalk delay is a fairly minor issue.
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