Story at a glance

  • NASA canceled Tuesday’s planned spacewalk outside the International Space Station due to the threat of space debris.
  • Astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron were expected to conduct the spacewalk to swap a failed antenna on the space station.
  • The cancellation comes a little over two weeks after Russia conducted a missile test and blew up one of its own satellites, causing debris to scatter and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station to seek shelter.

NASA has canceled a planned spacewalk outside the International Space Station Tuesday due to the threat of space debris.

“NASA received a debris notification for the space station,” the International Space Station wrote on Twitter. “Due to the lack of opportunity to properly assess the risk it could pose to the astronauts, teams have decided to delay the Nov. 30 spacewalk until more information is available.”

Astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron were expected to conduct the spacewalk to swap a failed antenna on the space station. However, the space debris poses a threat to the astronauts and a higher risk of puncturing their spacesuits.

 

NASA had planned on livestreaming the six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk, which would have begun at 7:10 a.m. ET.


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The cancellation comes a little over two weeks after Russia conducted a missile test and blew up one of its own satellites, causing debris to scatter and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station to seek shelter. NASA rebuked the move as “reckless” and “irresponsible.”

“I’m outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing action,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement at the time. “With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts. Their actions are reckless and dangerous, threatening as well the Chinese space station and the taikonauts on board.” 

NASA didn’t elaborate on if Tuesday’s threat of space debris was due to the satellite explosion or not.


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Published on Nov 30, 2021