Astronaut: Spacewalk postponed due to pinched nerve in neck

In this Aug. 17, 2021 photo made available by NASA, astronaut and Expedition 65 Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei inspects a spacesuit in preparation for a spacewalk at the International Space Station. On Monday, Aug. 23, NASA announced it is delaying a spacewalk this week because of an undisclosed medical issue involving Vande Hei. (NASA via AP) (Uncredited)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA is delaying a spacewalk at the International Space Station this week because of an undisclosed medical issue involving one of its astronauts.

Officials announced the postponement Monday, less than 24 hours before Mark Vande Hei was supposed to float outside.

Vande Hei is dealing with “a minor medical issue,” officials said in a statement.

Vande Hei, 54, a retired Army colonel, has been at the space station since April and is expected to remain there until next spring for a full one-year mission. This is his second station stay.

Vande Hei took to Twitter to disclose the reason for the delay.

“Thanks for everyone’s concern. I have a pinched nerve in my neck that caused us to reschedule today’s spacewalk,” he wrote Tuesday. “The support from family, friends, and NASA leadership has been fantastic. I’m looking forward to installing this IROSA Mod kit. Today just wasn’t the right day.”

He and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide were supposed to venture out Tuesday to install a bracket for new solar wings. NASA said the work can wait.

The spacewalk will be rescheduled after this weekend's planned supply run by SpaceX and a September series of spacewalks on the Russian side of the orbiting lab, according to NASA.


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