NASA backs down from spacewalks after astronaut suit leaks

NASA

NASA astronauts Tracy Dyson and Mike Barratt (foreground, from left) wearing white spacesuits, abandoned their plans for a spacewalk on June 24 due to a leak in Dyson’s suit.

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Two American astronauts abandoned their plans to exit the International Space Station for maintenance work on Monday due to spacesuit malfunction.

NASA officials canceled the spacewalk due to a water leak in the cooling unit of one of the astronauts’ suits.

The leak, which affected the suit worn by NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson, arose after the suits were transferred directly to battery power. Before they leave the space station.

The cooling unit in spacesuits is designed to keep the wearer at a comfortable temperature while doing their work. Dyson and her colleague Mike Barratt It was set to remove a faulty electronics box from the communications antenna on the outside of the space station.

“Right now, I’m comfortable, but I’m feeling a little warm,” Dyson was heard saying on a live stream of the event after the spacewalk was canceled around 9 a.m. ET.

Dyson later expressed concern that the water leak may have affected the electrical connectors.

“There’s still water flowing,” Dyson said at one point. “We can assume that water got into this conductor, the electrical conductor.”

NASA then worked to return Dyson to the space station from the airlock, the gateway to the outside of the space station, while her suit remained battery-powered.

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The crew was not in danger at any time during the incident, according to NASA.

The spacewalk is scheduled to begin Monday morning and last about 6.5 hours, according to NASA.

The spacewalk delay is the latest in a series of setbacks related to operations on the International Space Station in recent weeks.

This marks the second spacewalk in recent days that was abruptly canceled due to spacesuit problems.

Officials canceled a spacewalk scheduled for June 13, which included Dyson and Matthew Dominick, due to a “spacesuit discomfort issue” with Dominick’s spacesuit. NASA declined to provide more details about this issue to protect the astronaut’s privacy.

In addition to Monday’s aborted spacewalk, the federal agency was aiming to carry out another on July 2 — before Boeing’s Starliner capsule is given the green light to detach from the orbiting laboratory and return home.

The Starliner spacecraft was on its first crewed test flight to the space station. But the spacecraft encountered several major problems during the first leg of its journey, including helium leaks and experiencing a power outage, delaying its return.

It is not yet clear whether the decision to cancel Monday’s spacewalk will further delay the Starliner’s return.

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