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NASA calls off spacewalk at International Space Station just minutes before astronauts scheduled to leave airlock

NASA calls off spacewalk at International Space Station just minutes before astronauts scheduled to leave airlock

Both astronauts were suited up and ready for mission launch when the call was made.

A spacewalk scheduled for yesterday (June 13) was postponed just an hour before it was set to take off.

Two members of the International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 71 crew, Tracy Dyson and Matt Dominick, were preparing for an extravehicular activity (EVA) due to start Thursday morning.

Dyson and Dominick were in the middle of putting on their spacesuits and things were almost ready to go when NASA made the announcement to postpone the expedition.

The decision came at around 6:25 a.m. CDT (11.25 a.m. GMT) - roughly one hour before Dyson and Dominick were supposed to exit the ISS from the Quest airlock and begin their six-hour trek.


The mission was for routine repairs and a space mission, according to the NASA live stream.

'Spacewalkers Tracy Dyson and Matt Dominick were preparing for US EVA 90 - spacewalk 90 - today, but today's spacewalk will not be proceeding as planned,' a NASA commentator said on the stream just after the call was made.

'We're standing by for more information, and we will share as we learn that.'

It turns out a 'spacesuit discomfort issue' was what forced the cancellation, but the agency didn't specify which astronaut experienced the problem or what the details were.

A crew member assisting Dyson and Dominick, Suni Williams, was seen in NASA's livestream. She recently arrived at the space station aboard Boeing's Starliner spacecraft as part of the capsule's Crew Flight Test (CFT).


Williams and her CFT crewmate, NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore, docked with the station a day after their June 5 rocket launch and were scheduled to depart about a week later.

Their return to Earth was pushed to June 18, partly due to preparations for the EVA.

It's too soon to tell whether the changes to the EVA's date will affect Wilmore and Williams' departure from the station.

Past spacewalks have been called off over issues with the station's spacesuits. They were designed nearly half a century ago with only minor redesigns and refurbishments so they are overdue for a major upgrade, NASA's inspector general said. The US space agency is paying Raytheon's Collins Aerospace for this upgrade.

This announcement occurred just after NASA accidentally broadcasted an emergency medical drill from the ISS on its livestream. However, no such emergency was on the ISS, NASA stated.

Featured Image Credit: NASA/peepo/Getty