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Astronaut details near-drowning experience


Posted on Wednesday, 21 August, 2013 | Comment icon 13 comments


Image credit: NASA

 
Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano had been out on a spacewalk when his helmet started to fill with water.

The claustrophobic feeling of being confined within a spacesuit may seem unnerving enough, but to then have the helmet start filling up with water is more akin to a science fiction horror movie. In a recent spacewalk Luca Parmitano found himself in exactly this predicament, with water sloshing around inside his helmet he was unable to even see properly as he desperately attempted to save himself from disaster.

"The water covers my nose - a really awful sensation that I make worse by my vain attempts to move the water by shaking my head," he wrote. "By now, the upper part of the helmet is full of water and I can't even be sure that the next time I breathe, I will fill my lungs with air, and not liquid."

Fortunately the Italian astronaut was able to get back inside the space station using his safety cable to pull him back towards the hatch. NASA has been unable to find the exact cause of the problem but believes it relates to the spacesuit's life-support equipment backpack.

"An Italian astronaut who nearly drowned in his helmet during a spacewalk has told of how he felt all alone and frantically tried to come up with a plan to save himself."

  View: Full article |  Source: Brisbane Times

  Discuss: View comments (13)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by grc on 21 August, 2013, 17:43
Oh man I hope this can be resolved so those guys don't have to go trough it again. I understand equipment failure but damn it man they are in a very dangerous situation as it is!
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 21 August, 2013, 21:42
Yeah, a hell of a thing to go through for sure. I don't know at all, but I would suspect that the suit will come back to Earth on the very next re-supply mission to be examined.
Comment icon #6 Posted by mesuma on 21 August, 2013, 22:28
Or get them some goldfish.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 22 August, 2013, 13:37
I'm not sure they will return the suit, it's a bulky item and space on board a Dragon spacecraft (the only supply ship that actually returns cargo to the Earth) is at a premium. However a repair kit was sent up on the most recently launched Progress vehicle (see ).
Comment icon #8 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 22 August, 2013, 14:30
Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy were hard at work outside the International Space Station (ISS) for the second time, when water started to leak into Luca Parmitano’s space suit helmet, immediately resulting in the duo heading back to the Quest Airlock to terminate the EVA. Luca and Chris explain the events that happened during EVA # 23. Credit: ESA
Comment icon #9 Posted by brlesq1 on 23 August, 2013, 8:30
Wow. And it's not like you can take the helmet off, either.
Comment icon #10 Posted by highdesert50 on 25 August, 2013, 12:45
Hope he did not aspirate any liquid leading to further medical issues. How quickly can a medevac occur now that the shuttle is defunct. Seems we have put astronauts at a much greater risk given the more limited transport.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 25 August, 2013, 23:38
Nonsense. The shuttle was never permanently attached to the ISS and so could not be used as an emergency escape vehicle except for the few days each year it was actually docked. During those periods (with the exception of it's final mission) it carried a full crew and so would not have had the room to return the 6 crew of the ISS as well as it's own seven crew members. As a quick response launch vehicle the shuttle was, quite frankly, useless, it took weeks to prepare a vehicle for a launch, far too long to use it for an emergency medvac. It was far more likely that the shuttle crews... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Cherry- on 27 August, 2013, 21:59
Scary..


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