NASA astronaut reveals medical issue that postponed ISS spacewalk

The spacewalk was set to prep the ISS for a new roll-out solar array, but it'll have to wait.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei does a spacesuit fit check on Aug. 17. His scheduled spacewalk on Aug. 24 was postponed due to a minor medical issue.


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 said it wasn't an emergency.

NASA announced the postponement on Monday but didn't disclose details of the medical issue. On Tuesday, Vande Hei took to Twitter to thank everyone for their concern. "I have a pinched nerve in my neck that caused us to reschedule today's spacewalk," he wrote, saying, "Today just wasn't the right day."

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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