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NASA Puts Urgent Spacewalk On Hold

A delayed SpaceX rocket launch causes problems for a needed ISS spacewalk.

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (Photo credit and caption: NASA TV)

Astronauts were supposed to spend next Tuesday repairing a backup computer on the outside of the International Space Station. But a delayed launch of a SpaceX rocket has left the spacewalk up in the air.

Johnson Space Center Spokesperson Dan Huot says the SpaceX launch, which was supposed to take place Monday, is now tentatively set for Friday.

“There’s about a 60 percent chance that weather will prohibit the launch right now, so only a 40 percent go. That improves to a 70 percent go on Saturday.”

The SpaceX rocket will carry supplies and research projects to the ISS. Because NASA doesn’t yet know when the rocket will arrive, they can’t schedule the spacewalk.

“When SpaceX launches, it’s going to have to be berthed. Basically, two astronauts on board have to reach out with the station’s robotic arm, grapple with the SpaceX vehicle once it arrives, then they attach it to the station. We can’t do a spacewalk on the same day that you have that activity.”

If the rocket launches on Friday, astronauts will conduct their spacewalk next Wednesday. However, if the rocket launches on Saturday, the spacewalk will move up to Easter Sunday.

 

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Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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