Russian space agency officials Thursday postponed a scheduled Dec. 8 spacewalk by the Russian-American crew of the International Space Station.
"The extravehicular activity of Valery Tokarev and William McArthur is not planned in December," Russia's Mission Control Center spokesman Valery Lyndin told Itar-Tass.
Mission Control Center Flight Director Vladimir Solovyov said the postponement was made possible since the spacemen would not have to prepare to receive a U.S. shuttle, as had been planned.
"It was initially planned that the American shuttle will come to the ISS in March, but now it is apparent that the 12th crew will not work with the shuttle," Solovyov told Itar-Tass.
NASA officials say the shuttle will not be launched earlier than May or July and set Feb. 2 as the date for the postponed spacewalk.
The ISS crew this month will conduct various experiments and remove spent equipment, loading it into a supply ship that will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean at the end of the month.
The spacemen are also to prepare for the arrival of the next supply ship that is to be launched from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome Dec. 21, Lyndin told the news agency.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
Explore further: Communications satellite launched into space