ISS Crewmember Illness Not Serious

By Keith Cowing
December 23, 2002
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ISS Crewmember Illness Not Serious

Earlier this month NASA postponed an EVA aboard the International Space Station which would have been performed by Expedition Six Commander Ken Bowersox and Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin.

The announcement came only a few days after televised coverage of the event had been announced. The postponement was made due a medical issue with one of the two EVA participants i.e. either Bowersox or Budarin.

In keeping with a practice of honoring the medical privacy of all crew members, NASA has not identified which individual had the medical problem – nor the nature of the problem.

The fact that the EVA has not been rescheduled in the intervening two weeks has given rise to speculation that the medical issue is more serious than has been announced by NASA. The rumor circulating within NASA is that the individual “has a cold”.

According to sources within NASA the medical problem which led to the delay in the EVA is nowhere near being classified as mission threatening. Indeed, NASA retains some solid optimism that the affected crew member will soon be OK and be able to participate in the EVA – possibly in January – and that the EVA will be done by both Bowersox and Budarin as planned.

This EVA was orignally described as being comprised of various “get-ahead” tasks so as to allow the ISS to be ready to accept and install additional hardware in 2003. Since this is a “get-ahead” EVA (i.e. not mission critical) it can be done at just about any time in the coming months.

If performed per the original mission plan, Bowesox and Budarin [pictured left] will leave the ISS via the Quest Airlock. This EVA will be the first time a Russian cosmonaut exits Quest wearing an American spacesuit.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.