NASA Cancels Spacewalk With Cryptic Announcement About "Spacesuit Discomfort"

Fit Check

Ever have a wardrobe malfunction so bad you wish you could skip work? Well, if you were a NASA astronaut, that's a privilege you could take advantage of — if you are willing to put up with the arduous experience of living in orbit.

Case in point: on Thursday, NASA was forced to call off a planned spacewalk outside the International Space Station due to "spacesuit discomfort" — and what that specifically means or entails remains unclear.

According to an update from the agency, the astronauts scheduled for the excursion, Tracy C. Dyson and Matthew Dominick, had fully suited up before the mission was called off just an hour before the spacewalk, set to be NASA's 90th at the ISS, was supposed to commence.

Comforting News

So far, NASA hasn't divulged any further details, but Reuters reported that just minutes before the spacewalk was called off, another NASA astronaut, Mike Barratt, was heard asking flight controllers for a private line to discuss a medical issue.

It's unclear if this pertained to the cancellation, and we also don't know which astronaut was having the discomfort problem.

At the very least, it doesn't sound like it was anything too severe. In its update, NASA said that all "crew members on the station are healthy, and spacesuits are functioning as expected."

It has not said whether there will be a make-up spacewalk, but the space agency did confirm that the next one will take place on June 24.

Nagging Issue

This is not the first time that extravehicular activity at the ISS was called off due to suit issues. In 2019, NASA's first all-female spacewalk was somewhat embarrassingly postponed when one of the astronauts discovered that her spacesuit didn't quite fit.

More harrowingly, in 2022, the agency had to suspend almost all scheduled spacewalks after water was found in the helmet of an astronaut that had just completed an excursion.

This latest incident isn't quite as dramatic as those past two, but perhaps it'll reignite discussion on when NASA will finally update its astronauts' iconic outfits.

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