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Spacewalk at the International Space Station Cancelled by NASA Due to Spacesuit Issues

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Spacewalk at the International Space Station Cancelled by NASA Due to Spacesuit Issues

On Thursday, June 13, 2024, two NASA astronauts based at the International Space Station (ISS) had a scheduled spacewalk called off abruptly owing to an unidentified “spacesuit discomfort issue.” Just over an hour before astronauts Tracy C. Dyson and Matt Dominick were scheduled to leave the orbiting laboratory for a mission lasting approximately six hours, the announcement was made.

For many who watched NASA’s live feed of the event, the news was unexpected. As part of the Extravehicular Activity (EVA), known as US EVA 90, which would have been the 90th spacewalk carried out in the 23-year history of the International Space Station (ISS), the broadcast included Dyson and Dominick getting ready. A NASA spokesman abruptly changed the tone by saying, “Today’s spacewalk will not be proceeding as planned.”

Few details were available on the type of discomfort the spacesuit caused. Later, NASA stated on their blog that the problem was, in fact, connected to the spacesuit, although they did not say which astronaut had the issue or what exactly was causing it. The absence of information has given rise to conjecture on the cause of the discomfort: was it a suit failure or was there another medical problem involving one of the astronauts?

This cancellation occurs at a time when spacewalks are becoming more and more important for ISS progress and maintenance. A combination of basic maintenance and scientific research comprised Dyson and Dominick’s intended mission. Spacewalks are essential to maintaining the numerous systems on board the space station, which is approaching its thirty-year anniversary of operation. Spacewalks are essential to maintaining the numerous systems on board the space station, which is approaching its thirty-year anniversary of operation.

There have been other spacewalk cancellations because of spacesuit issues, including the postponement of US EVA 90. To keep astronauts safe in the hostile atmosphere of space, astronaut suits are extremely complicated pieces of machinery. They have to keep the wearer’s mobility sufficient, control temperature, and maintain the right amount of pressure. Any issue or discomfort that arises during a spacewalk has the potential to seriously endanger the health of the astronaut.

A cooling system problem caused an astronaut’s helmet to fill with water during a spacewalk in 2016, forcing the mission to be aborted. The astronaut made it back to the airlock safely, thank goodness. These events demonstrate how important spacesuits are to maintaining astronaut safety while on spacewalks.

It is unclear how the ISS schedule will be affected by this delay. The rescheduled spacewalk has not yet been given a new date by NASA. Engineers will probably want some time to look into the reason for the discomfort in the spacesuit and make sure the problem is fixed before rescheduling the EVA. Depending on the problem’s complexity, there’s a chance the spacewalk will be postponed.

One cannot stress how crucial a functioning spacesuit system is. Astronauts will need their spacesuits more than ever as space exploration progresses. Even more will be required of these technical marvels for missions to the Moon and Mars. The latest event serves as a reminder of the necessity of ongoing spacesuit research and development in order to guarantee the security of astronauts travelling into uncharted territory.