Flooded helmet of astronaut Luca Parmitano causes space emergency

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posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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IN one of the most harrowing spacewalks in decades, an astronaut had to rush back into the International Space Station after a mysterious water leak inside his helmet robbed him of the ability to speak or hear and could have caused him to choke or even drown.


Italian Luca Parmitano was reported to be fine after the dangerous episode, which might have been caused by a leak in the cooling system of his suit. His spacewalking partner, American Christopher Cassidy, had to help him inside after NASA quickly aborted the spacewalk.
No one - neither the astronauts in orbit nor flight controllers in Houston - breathed easier until Parmitano was back inside and his helmet was yanked off. "He looks miserable. But OK," Cassidy assured everyone. It was the first time in years that a spacewalk came to such an abrupt halt and the first time since NASA's Gemini program in the mid-1960s that a spacewalker became so incapacitated. Spacewalking always carries high risk; a puncture by a micrometeorite or sharp edge, if big enough, could result in instant death.




www.theaustralian.com.au...

This was very dangerous situation in routine cable work on their second spacewalk. First he thought it was sweat but he was repeatedly assured it was not sweat. When water got in his eyes NASA ordered to back to the station and other astronauts helped him with the helmet.
Note that Luca is first Italian spacewalker , i'm glad that everything finished ok.
edit on 17-7-2013 by xavi1000 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 02:04 PM
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They should have used the same suits as were used to go to and land on the moon. Strangely enough they worked better then



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 02:25 PM
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I had no idea they used water for cooling.
That had to be terribly frightening. Glad everything turned out ok.



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by xavi1000
 


Glad things worked out .. still, I couldn't imagine a more panic inducing event.



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 03:20 PM
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Drown in space on a spacewalk.

That would be an odd way to die.



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 03:32 PM
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Originally posted by scotsdavy1
They should have used the same suits as were used to go to and land on the moon. Strangely enough they worked better then


The space suits they use today are very similar in concept and design as the Apollo suits (with some modernization).

The cooling system for the Apollo suits and today's suits both use an undergarment/suit layer that contains many feet of tubing through which cool water is circulated.

The cooling system of the space suits used for Apollo (and the concept still used today) is explained in the excerpt video below from the TV documentary series "Moon Machines" (the episode on space suits).

Watch from the 4:38 mark to 7:52 mark:







edit on 7/17/2013 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by scotsdavy1
They should have used the same suits as were used to go to and land on the moon. Strangely enough they worked better then


What makes you say that? The suits the US uses now (and I believe Luca Parmitano was using a US suit) are directly based on the suits they used for landing on the moon. The same company that made the suits for Apollo makes the suits for US ISS space walks today. ILC Dover.
www.ilcdover.com...
US astronauts have spent over 2000 hours doing EVAs (and of course US suits have had additional hours being used by astronauts from other nations flying on NASA missions). This is the first time I have heard of a US suit failing in this manner. That's not a bad track record at all.



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by Soylent Green Is People
Drown in space on a spacewalk.

That would be an odd way to die.



It might seem odd to most, but drowning has long been a concern for space walkers. Generally space walks are never performed on the first day of a mission in order to ensure that the astronaut does not develop space sickness in the middle of the EVA (the only exceptions I am aware of are the first space walks for both the Soviets and the US - both EVAs were very short, only a few minutes long, and were the priority for the mission so the risk was considered acceptable). If you vomit in your space helmet you could very easily drown in your own fluids.

Not that there's any shortage of dangers while space walking, but this one actually ranks right up there at the top.
edit on 17-7-2013 by ngchunter because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


It was a joke



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by scotsdavy1
They should have used the same suits as were used to go to and land on the moon. Strangely enough they worked better then


Actually, Apollo 16 EVAs involved orange juice leaking from the juice bag into the helmet. www.solarviews.com...
Luckily, lunar gravity kept it from floating into the eyes and airways.



posted on Jul, 17 2013 @ 10:35 PM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


Great point. I hadn't considered drowning in your own vomit in a spacesuit. I can understand how that would be a concern.





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