NASA is postponing a spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday "due to a minor medical issue" involving one astronaut. This comes as China conducted the second spacewalk on the country's new space station on Friday as the superpower rivalry intensifies beyond this world.
NASA said Tuesday's spacewalk outside the ISS with US astronaut Mark Vande Hei and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide had been delayed due to a "minor medical" issue involving Vande Hei. The extent of the health issue was not revealed by the space agency but said it's "not a medical emergency."
Both astronauts were expected to install brackets on the ISS to support new solar arrays.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Chinese conducted their second spacewalk outside their new space station's core module, called Tianhe ("Harmony of the Heavens").
Tianhe is part of communist China's space program to dominate low Earth orbit and possibly surpass the US in military and scientific capabilities in outer space in the coming decades.
We see the next battleground of superpower rivalry between the US and China in space. Tensions beyond Earth will increase as both countries are in a race to launch imaging, telecoms, and 6G satellites, along with conducting probing missions of moons and planets for rare metals and other valuable raw materials.
The US spacewalk is rescheduled after the SpaceX CRS-23 cargo resupply mission is completed this weekend and two Russian spacewalks on Sept. 2 and 8.
While NASA's ISS is more than two decades old and nearing its lifespan, the Russians have said they will withdraw from the ISS by 2025. This means that China is building an advanced space station as the US is still using the 23-year old ISS that is rapidly aging, posing a danger for astronauts. ISS crew recently had to hunt for a mystery air leak.