NASA review underway after water leaks into astronaut’s helmet

NASA is halting all spacewalks at the International Space Station over concerns about the safety of decades-old spacesuits after water leaked into one astronaut’s helmet while working outside the station.Watch the full report in the video player above. European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Mauer was wrapping up a 7-hour long spacewalk outside the International Space Station when he noticed water leaking into his helmet. “I think we should accelerate the steps to get him out of the suit here,” NASA astronaut Kayla Barron said. They got him out, but the incident in March of this year was eerily similar to what happened to an Italian astronaut back in 2013. “I feel a lot of water on the back of my head,” European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano said. Water from the cooling tubes inside Parmitano’s spacesuit was leaking into his space helmet and he almost drowned. “For a couple of minutes there, maybe more than a couple of minutes, I experienced what it’s like to be a goldfish in a fishbowl from the point of view of the goldfish,” Parmitano said. It’s a “nightmare scenario” according to veteran spacewalker and former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman – who went on to become the “first spacesuit engineer” at SpaceX. “Obviously if you fill the helmet, you can’t breathe. And you can’t take the helmet off. So you’re in a bad, bad place and it got very serious,” Reisman said. NASA has now stopped all spacewalks at the International Space Station until Matthias’ faulty spacesuit is returned to Earth later this month for an inspection.But even if it’s fixed – the underlying problem is that these spacesuits – or emus – are decades old and there are not many left. “That big white spacesuit actually has heritage that goes all the way back to Apollo. So pre-1975. The helmets are exactly the same as that as the helmet that we wore on the Apollo suits,” Reisman said. NASA knows it’s a problem. “I think it’s critical to have a suit that works for everyone,” NASA associate administrator Robert Cabana said. NASA is now partnering with two commercial companies to develop its next-generation spacesuits – but those likely will not be ready until at least 2025.”NASA’s gotten quite good at keeping these old clunkers running. I think NASA has got a really capable team that will keep these suits going as long as they have to, but the right thing is to get a new suit, and the sooner the better,” Reisman said. Spacewalks will remain halted until the suits are fixed.

NASA is halting all spacewalks at the International Space Station over concerns about the safety of decades-old spacesuits after water leaked into one astronaut’s helmet while working outside the station.

Watch the full report in the video player above.

Advertisement

European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Mauer was wrapping up a 7-hour long spacewalk outside the International Space Station when he noticed water leaking into his helmet.

“I think we should accelerate the steps to get him out of the suit here,” NASA astronaut Kayla Barron said.

They got him out, but the incident in March of this year was eerily similar to what happened to an Italian astronaut back in 2013.

“I feel a lot of water on the back of my head,” European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano said.

Water from the cooling tubes inside Parmitano’s spacesuit was leaking into his space helmet and he almost drowned.

“For a couple of minutes there, maybe more than a couple of minutes, I experienced what it’s like to be a goldfish in a fishbowl from the point of view of the goldfish,” Parmitano said.

It’s a “nightmare scenario” according to veteran spacewalker and former NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman – who went on to become the “first spacesuit engineer” at SpaceX.

“Obviously if you fill the helmet, you can’t breathe. And you can’t take the helmet off. So you’re in a bad, bad place and it got very serious,” Reisman said.

NASA has now stopped all spacewalks at the International Space Station until Matthias’ faulty spacesuit is returned to Earth later this month for an inspection.

But even if it’s fixed – the underlying problem is that these spacesuits – or emus – are decades old and there are not many left.

“That big white spacesuit actually has heritage that goes all the way back to Apollo. So pre-1975. The helmets are exactly the same as that as the helmet that we wore on the Apollo suits,” Reisman said.

NASA knows it’s a problem.

“I think it’s critical to have a suit that works for everyone,” NASA associate administrator Robert Cabana said.

NASA is now partnering with two commercial companies to develop its next-generation spacesuits – but those likely will not be ready until at least 2025.

“NASA’s gotten quite good at keeping these old clunkers running. I think NASA has got a really capable team that will keep these suits going as long as they have to, but the right thing is to get a new suit, and the sooner the better,” Reisman said.

Spacewalks will remain halted until the suits are fixed.

Contributed by local news sources

Next Post

Santa Cruz City Schools to unveil new safety lockdown system when school begins this week

Central Coast school administrators have been working to improve school safety as students return to school. Now, one district can lock down a single classroom or an entire school remotely. “It’s just a simple tap and then it opens and then it locks automatically” said, Bay Elementary School Principal Renee […]