Friday, July 19, 2013

Parmitano OK after Dangerous EVA

Eurospace AGency Astronaut Luca Parmitano in airlock waiting for emergency repressurization procedures to conclude. By this point he could not see or hear because blobs of water had covered his eyes and entered his ears, and some was getting into his nose.

You can just imagine the frustration astronaut Parmitano must have felt waiting to get out of that suit. Water was going into the wrong holes... and not a thing he could do except remain very calm. In his debriefing he said that before he could get back to the airlock, his eyes were blinded by the water (NOT drinking water, but probably coolant water) and he had to find his way to the airlock by memory, with help from fellow EVA astronaut Chris Cassidy. He estimates there was nearly 3 pounds of water in the helmet by the time it was removed, which is about a half-gallon! He definitely showed the stuff astronauts are made of. He could have choked and possibly drowned before getting the helmet off.  More details in this article:

Meanwhile, in Mission Control... Flight Directors David Korth (L) and Norm Knight (R) discuss the dangerous situation and the best way to get Parmitano into the airlock and safety.

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