Oleg Artemyev was forced to return to the airlock on the International Space Station after there was an electrical problem in his space suit, according to US and Russian officials. The Russian cosmonaut was supposed to make the six-and-a-half hour spacewalk with fellow countryman Denis Mateev.
The walk began at approximately 1.53pm on Wednesday, however Mr Artemyev was forced to return back three hours into the mission due to an electrical issue causing Moscow to scrap the mission.
Mission control in Moscow could be heard telling the cosmonaut to “go back” urgently.
It said: “Oleg, drop everything and go back. Drop everything and start going back right away…Go back and connect to station power.”
Mr Artemyev then quickly returned to the Poisk airlock and connected to the space station’s power.
Yuri Borisov, head of the Russian state space agency, Roscosmos, said: “The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made. I think that by that time we will start forming a Russian orbiting station.”
NASA has said that it plans to keep the International Space Station in operation until 2030. It did not comment on the Russian announcement.
The only other space station currently operational in low-Earth orbit is the Chinese station, Tiangong space station.
The core module of this station was launched last year with additional modules planned for launch this year.