NASA Calls Off Astronauts' ISS Spacewalk Over 'Spacesuit Discomfort'

FILE PHOTO: The NASA logo is seen at Kennedy Space Center ahead of the NASA/SpaceX launch of a commercial crew mission to the International Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The NASA logo is seen at Kennedy Space Center ahead of the NASA/SpaceX launch of a commercial crew mission to the International Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo
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NASA Calls Off Astronauts' ISS Spacewalk Over 'Spacesuit Discomfort'

FILE PHOTO: The NASA logo is seen at Kennedy Space Center ahead of the NASA/SpaceX launch of a commercial crew mission to the International Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: The NASA logo is seen at Kennedy Space Center ahead of the NASA/SpaceX launch of a commercial crew mission to the International Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, April 16, 2021. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo

NASA said a "spacesuit discomfort issue" forced the cancellation of a planned spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) by two US astronauts on Thursday, roughly an hour before their repair mission was poised to begin.
NASA astronauts Tracy C. Dyson and Matt Dominick, two of the orbiting laboratory's six US astronauts, donned their spacesuits early on Thursday morning in preparation for a roughly six-hour trek outside the ISS for routine repairs and a science mission, as shown on a NASA live stream.
As other US crewmembers prepped the two astronauts inside the station's Quest airlock - the exit module separating the station's interior from the vacuum of space - NASA astronaut Mike Barratt asked flight controllers in Houston for a private communications line to discuss a medical issue.
Minutes later a NASA spokeswoman speaking on the live stream said "today's spacewalk will not be proceeding as planned."
"The spacewalk today, June 13, at the International Space Station did not proceed as scheduled due to a spacesuit discomfort issue," NASA later said on its website.
The spacewalk mission was poised to be NASA's 90th in the space station's 23-year history, and the second this year. It would have been the fourth spacewalk for Dixon, who first flew to space in 2007, and the first for Dominick.
It was not clear what caused the spacesuit discomfort or whether an independent astronaut medical issue was a factor, Reuters reported.
Past spacewalks have been called off over issues with the station's spacesuits, which were designed nearly half a century ago with only minor redesigns and refurbishments. NASA's inspector general has said they are ripe for an upgrade, which NASA is paying Raytheon's Collins Aerospace to do.
Before Thursday's spacewalk cancellation, NASA on Wednesday night accidentally broadcast on its live YouTube feed a simulated emergency of astronauts being treated for decompression sickness on the ISS, raising public alarm about the health of US crewmembers.
NASA said there was no real emergency and that "audio was inadvertently misrouted from an ongoing simulation where crew members and ground teams train for various scenarios in space and is not related to a real emergency."



2 Amur Tiger Cubs Have their 1st Public Outing at German Zoo

Two Amur tiger cubs, Tochka and Timur, have their first public outing at Cologne Zoo in Cologne, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
Two Amur tiger cubs, Tochka and Timur, have their first public outing at Cologne Zoo in Cologne, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
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2 Amur Tiger Cubs Have their 1st Public Outing at German Zoo

Two Amur tiger cubs, Tochka and Timur, have their first public outing at Cologne Zoo in Cologne, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)
Two Amur tiger cubs, Tochka and Timur, have their first public outing at Cologne Zoo in Cologne, Thursday July 18, 2024. (Thomas Banneyer/dpa via AP)

Two Amur tiger cubs had their first public outing Thursday at Cologne Zoo in Germany, one of several zoos that have sought to help keep up the numbers of the rare big cats.
The cubs — a female named Tochka and a male named Timur — were born in mid-April and now weigh about 13 kilos each. The pair explored their enclosure together with their mother, 13-year-old Katinka.
Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are found in the far east of Russia and northeastern China and are considered endangered.
“We are very happy and proud of the offspring of this highly threatened species,” zoo curator Alexander Sliwa said in a statement, which said that 240 Amur tigers in zoos are currently part of a European program to help conserve and breed the animals.
Katinka was brought from the zoo in Nuremberg last summer in exchange for Cologne tiger Akina after the existing pairs at both zoos had long failed to produce offspring. She quickly hit it off with 9-year-old Sergan, the cubs' father, the zoo said.