Every time an astronaut goes out of the International Space Station (ISS) or a spacecraft is called a spacewalk. According to NASA, it is also called an extravehicular activity (EVA) for various reasons.
This could include conducting science experiments, test new equipment, and repair satellites or spacecraft in space. Fixing the spacecraft in space by conducting spacewalks is more efficient and practical than bringing the whole space station down and bringing it back to space.
On Tuesday, August 24, a spacewalk was scheduled but postponed because of a medical issue in one of the two participating astronauts. The space agency has not yet announced an exact date for the rescheduled spacewalk.
Preparing for a SpaceWalk
According to Digital Trends, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have spent the last week preparing for the spacewalk on August 24. Preparations included checking their spacesuits, setting up the tools they will be using, and reviewing the procedures for the upcoming spacewalk this week.
The official Twitter account of the International Space Station even posted an update last week stating that preparations for the spacewalk were going according to plan as of Saturday, August 21.
However, for some reason, Vande Hei started experiencing a minor medical issue that prompted NASA to take action and postpone the upcoming event.
Astronauts taking part in spacewalks are required to be in tip-top condition before stepping out the confines of ISS as they will be carrying a bulky spacesuit while working in a challenging environment for at least seven hours at a time.
Not A Medical Emergency
According to Space.com, the spacewalk on Tuesday would have seen the two astronauts continue upgrading the space station's power system by installing the support bracket for new rollout arrays, called the International Space Station Roll-Out Solar Array. Two new arrays have already been installed previously, and another four new arrays will be installed soon.
On Monday, August 23, NASA's news release announced that NASA astronaut Vande Hei was experiencing a "minor medical issue" but that it was not a medical emergency.
"This issue is not a medical emergency," NASA officials wrote. "The spacewalk is not time-sensitive and crew members are continuing to move forward with other station work and activities."
The space agency added that the tentative date for the rescheduled spacewalk could occur after the SpaceX CRS-23 cargo resupply launch planned on Saturday, August 28, and two spacewalks by Russian cosmonauts that are expected in early September.
But lucky for Vande Hei, he is not scheduled to depart the space station until March 2022, which means he would have a lot more opportunity for a spacewalk than Hoshide, who is scheduled to depart ISS in November this year. As Digital Trends reported, the rescheduled spacewalk could happen between mid to late September.
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