Space suit leak happened before, NASA admits

Feb 26, 2014

A US-made space suit that leaked water into a helmet and threatened to drown a European astronaut had malfunctioned before, NASA admitted on Wednesday.

The flaw appeared during a spacewalk a week prior to the July 16 outing by Luca Italian astronaut Parmitano and an American spacewalker, but US space agency officials misdiagnosed it, meaning that the incident was preventable, NASA said in its final report on the investigation into what went wrong.

"The actually suffered the same failure at the end of EVA (extravehicular activity) 22, performed a week earlier, and this event was not properly investigated, which could have prevented placing a crew member at risk a week later," said a summary of the report NASA posted online.

The fault was attributed to "misdiagnosis of this suit failure when it initially occurred."

Parmitano's helmet began leaking water shortly after he began his spacewalk. He was rushed back inside the International Space Station and was rattled by the experience, but unhurt.

He had 1.5 liters of water in his helmet by the time he was rescued, NASA said.

Explore further: NASA rigs up snorkel in spacesuit after risky water leak

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA launches new probe of spacesuit failure

Jul 23, 2013

The US space agency said Tuesday it is launching a second investigation into a leaking helmet that forced an abrupt halt to an Italian astronaut's spacewalk last week.

Recommended for you

Rosetta measures comet's temperature

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, finding that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.

How Rosetta arrives at a comet

3 hours ago

After travelling nearly 6.4 billion kilometres through the Solar System, ESA's Rosetta is closing in on its target. But how does a spacecraft actually arrive at a comet?

Lunar occultation of Saturn

3 hours ago

On the night of Monday August 4, mainland Australia will see Saturn disappear behind the moon. It's the third time this year that the moon and Saturn will perfectly line up, as viewed from our part of the ...

SHERLOC to micro-map Mars minerals and carbon rings

5 hours ago

(Phys.org) —An ultraviolet-light instrument on the robotic arm of NASA's Mars 2020 rover will use two types of ultraviolet-light spectroscopy, plus a versatile camera, to help meet the mission's ambitious ...

NuSTAR celebrates two years of science in space

6 hours ago

(Phys.org) —NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, a premier black-hole hunter among other talents, has finished up its two-year prime mission, and will be moving onto its next phase, ...

User comments : 0