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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Spacewalk From Mir Postponed Until 1998

Mission control has delayed a joint Russian-American spacewalk from the space station Mir formore than a month from its scheduled date of Dec. 5, officials said Wednesday.

"The spacewalk scheduled for December is being postponed to January," said Sergei Gorbunov, a spokesman for the Russian Space Agency. "The cosmonauts have done a great deal of work and they need to rest."

NASA astronaut David Wolf and commander Anatoly Solovyov are now expected to make the spacewalk Jan. 9, two weeks before Wolf is to leave the station, said NASA spokeswoman Kathleen Maliga.

Solovyov is also expected to make another spacewalk with flight engineer Pavel Vinogradov on Jan. 5, during which they will repair a leaky hatch that cosmonauts use to exit Mir on spacewalks, she said.

Space officials said a number of factors, including the need to bring materials from Earth to fix the leak, had led to the postponement.

During the Jan. 9 spacewalk, Wolf is expected to retrieve an experiment on Mir's exterior and do tests on several sections of the station's body.

On Wednesday the cosmonauts were due to test equipment aboard the Mir on Wednesday as well as get some exercise. Wolf was to work on experiments.

The crew is also planning to launch a small satellite, the Inspektor, from the Progress M-36 cargo ship after it undocks from Mir on Dec. 17.

The Inspektor will observe the outside of the Progress and Mir. Specialists said the probe may be used in future to monitor the exterior of the International Space Station.

The next supply ship, the Progress M-37, will head to Mir on Dec. 23, bringing food, water, and some materials and equipment for the crew's space walk.

The 11-year-old Mir has suffered a series of accidents since the summer when a Progress supply ship collided with the station.