NASA cuts spacewalk short
July 16, 2013 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
- Astronaut reports water free-floating inside his helmet
- Spacewalk ends after one hour and 32 minutes
- This water was "not an immediate health hazard" for the astronaut, NASA says
Follow science news from CNN on Twitter and Facebook.
(CNN) -- Water observed pooling inside an astronaut's helmet was reason enough for NASA to cut short a spacewalk Tuesday morning.
The spacewalk outside the International Space Station was planned to last for six and a half hours, but ended after one hour and 32 minutes, said NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries. That makes it, according to NASA's website, the second shortest spacewalk in the history of the space station.
Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and U.S. astronaut Chris Cassidy were to install backup power equipment to critical station components and prepare cables for a new laboratory module that is due to arrive later this year, NASA said.
Parmitano and Cassidy were able to complete the first task in the spacewalk, Humphries said.
Both astronauts were called back into the station after they and mission control personnel noticed what appeared to be water pooling inside Parmitano's space suit, Humphries said.
Parmitano "reported water free-floating behind his head inside his helmet," NASA's website said.
Cassidy told mission control that Parmitano said the water didn't taste like normal drinking water, Humphries said.
This water was "not an immediate health hazard" for the astronaut, the website said.
Parmitano did not report any problems breathing, Humphries said.
"It was an orderly situation in which the crew members and the team on the ground reacted per their standard procedures, and determined that they needed to end to protect the safety of the astronauts that were out on the EVA," Humphries said. EVA stands for extravehicular activity.
The spacewalk, which began shortly before 8 a.m. ET, has yet to be rescheduled. NASA said that another attempt would not be made Tuesday.
Mission managers will determine when to reschedule the other tasks that the astronauts would have completed on this spacewalk.
An evaluation of what happened is under way, Humphries said.
CNN's John Zarrella contributed to this report
Part of complete coverage on
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 0703 GMT (1503 HKT)
Scientists believe that a hot gas bubble was formed by multiple supernovas.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
Life aboard the International Space Station.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 0153 GMT (0953 HKT)
NASA's New Horizons mission hurtles toward Pluto in historic 3 billion mile expedition.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 2044 GMT (0444 HKT)
After a 10-year chase the Rosetta spacecraft is now orbiting a comet
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2016 GMT (0416 HKT)
"Here comes the sun" indeed, and it was just barely all right.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1653 GMT (0053 HKT)
Seems NASA's fascination with the moon is in the past. It's focused on something far more menacing: incoming asteroids
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 0356 GMT (1156 HKT)
Scientists looking for signs of life in the universe -- as well as another planet like our own -- are a lot closer to their goal than people realize.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1939 GMT (0339 HKT)
The U.S. Army brainchild "Project Horizon" was born. Its proposal to leap beyond the Soviets opened with the line: "There is a requirement for a manned military outpost on the moon."
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1936 GMT (0336 HKT)
Back in July 1969, I stood on the talcum-like lunar dust just a few feet from our home away from home, Eagle, the lunar module that transported Neil Armstrong and me to the bleak, crater-pocked moonscape.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1943 GMT (0343 HKT)
From Earth, the sun appears as a constant circle of light, but when viewed in space a brilliant display of motion is revealed.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1731 GMT (0131 HKT)
The full moons of this summer -- July 12, August 10 and September 9 -- are supermoons, as NASA calls them.
June 29, 2014 -- Updated 1551 GMT (2351 HKT)
If you think you saw a flying saucer over Hawaii, you might not be crazy -- except what you saw didn't come from outer space, though that may be its ultimate destination.
June 27, 2014 -- Updated 0147 GMT (0947 HKT)
The U.S. space shuttle program retired in 2011, leaving American astronauts to hitchhike into orbit. But after three long years, NASA's successor is almost ready to make an entrance.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 1421 GMT (2221 HKT)
When I first poked my head inside Virgin Galactic's newest spaceship, I felt a little like I was getting a front-row seat to space history.
June 10, 2014 -- Updated 2303 GMT (0703 HKT)
The sun is putting on a fireworks show again.
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 2302 GMT (0702 HKT)
A year is a very long time on Mars -- 687 days. NASA's Curiosity rover can attest that it's enough time for some unexpected life changes.
May 2, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
At least one corner of the solar system may be serving up an ice-and-water sandwich, with the possibility of life on the rocks.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
You can't see it happening on Earth, but space itself is stretching. Ever since the Big Bang happened 13.8 billion years ago, the universe has been getting bigger.
February 28, 2014 -- Updated 1259 GMT (2059 HKT)
Our galactic neighborhood just got a lot bigger. NASA announced the discovery of 715 new planets.
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1437 GMT (2237 HKT)
Scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how our world as we know it came to be.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
From a sheep ranch in Western Australia comes the oldest slice of Earth we know.
Today's five most popular stories