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Latest ISS spacewalk successful but cut short due to water in helmet

16 January 2016

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and ESA astronaut Tim Peake completed the primary task for their spacewalk on January 15 before it was ended early by Mission Control Houston.

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake seen during his first spacewalk (photo: NASA via Flickr)

The astronauts replaced a failed voltage regulator that caused a loss of power to one of the station’s eight power channels last November, accomplishing the major objective for this spacewalk.

The pair ended their spacewalk with the repressurisation of the US Quest airlock following an early termination after Kopra reported a small water bubble had formed inside his helmet.

“These procedures did their job, the team did their job and we flowed right into a nice, safe return into the airlock for these guys,” says NASA’s Chief Astronaut Chris Cassidy, who took part in the July 2013 spacewalk when ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano experienced a similar, but more serious, incident.

Commander Scott Kelly assisted the crew members with an expedited removal of their spacesuits and helmets. Once they removed the spacesuits and helmets, the astronauts used a syringe to take a water sample and retrieve the helmet absorption pad to determine how much water was introduced. Engineers are already looking at data to find out what may have prompted the water to form inside Kopra’s helmet.

The 4 hour and 43 minutes spacewalk was the third for Kopra and the first for Peake, who both arrived at the station last December.

YouTube video above posted by NASA January 15, 2016

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