After 2nd spacewalk, astronaut reports water in helmet

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After 2nd spacewalk, astronaut reports water in helmet
NASA astronaut Terry Virts was quickly pulled into the International Space Station to remove him from his space suit after water pooled into his helmet.
In this image made from video provided by NASA, astronaut Terry Virts performs a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. This is the second spacewalk in five days for Virts and Butch Wilmore. In all, three spacewalks are planned in just over a week to prepare the orbiting lab for future American crew capsules. (AP Photo/NASA)
In this image from NASA television astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore, left, and Terry Virts begin wiring the International Space Station in preparation for the arrival in July of the international docking port for the Boeing and Space-X commercial crew vehicles early Saturday morning Feb. 21, 2015 to (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
Science, Space, Nasa, Astronaut floating in orbit above the earth during spacewalk.(Photo by: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG via Getty Images)
In this image from NASA television astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore, upper left, and Terry Virts, center, begin their second spacewalk outside the International Space Station Wednesday Feb. 25, 2015. Wednesday's spacewalk is the second in five days for Butch Wilmore and Terry Virts. In all, three spacewalks are planned in just over a week to prepare the orbiting lab for future American crew capsules. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
In this image from television astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore begins the spacewalk Saturday morning Feb. 21, 2015 to wire the International Space Station in preparation for the arrival in July of the international docking port for the Boeing and Space-X commercial crew vehicles. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
In this image from television astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore begins the spacewalk Saturday morning Feb. 21, 2015 to wire the International Space Station in preparation for the arrival in July of the international docking port for the Boeing and Space-X commercial crew vehicles. (AP Photo/NASA-TV)
This frame grab image from a live NASA feed shows Russian astronauts Maxim Suraev and Alexander Samokutyaev during a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014. The astronauts are performing maintenance, removing two antennas that are no longer needed, inspecting the outside of the Russian segment, collecting samples from windows and elsewhere to check for engine exhaust and other materials. (AP Photo/NASA)
IN SPACE - OCTOBER 7: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA), German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst takes a photo during his spacewalk, whilst aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on October 7, 2014 in Space. Gerst returned to earth on November 10, 2014 after spending six months on the International Space Station completing an extensive scientific programme, known as the 'Blue Dot' mission (after astronomer Carl Sagan's description of Earth, as seen on a photograph taken by the Voyager probe from six billion kilometres away). (Photo by Alexander Gerst / ESA via Getty Images)
IN SPACE - OCTOBER 31: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) on October 31, 2014, German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst took this image of a NASA spacesuit stored in the Quest airlock waiting for an astronaut to wear it for a spacewalk whilst aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Gerst returned to earth on November 10, 2014 after spending six months on the International Space Station completing an extensive scientific programme, known as the 'Blue Dot' mission (after astronomer Carl Sagan's description of Earth, as seen on a photograph taken by the Voyager probe from six billion kilometres away). (Photo by Alexander Gerst / ESA via Getty Images)
IN SPACE - OCTOBER 7: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA), German ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst takes a 'selfie' during his spacewalk, whilst aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on October 7, 2014 in Space. Gerst returned to earth on November 10, 2014 after spending six months on the International Space Station completing an extensive scientific programme, known as the 'Blue Dot' mission (after astronomer Carl Sagan's description of Earth, as seen on a photograph taken by the Voyager probe from six billion kilometres away). (Photo by Alexander Gerst / ESA via Getty Images)
IN SPACE - JULY 12: In this handout image provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NASA astronaut Ronald Garan attached to the robotic arm Canadarm2 moves a failed ammonia pump module from a storage platform on the International Space Station to the cargo bay of the space shuttle Atlantis during a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk July 12, 2011 in space. This is the 160th spacewalk devoted to station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998. Space shuttle Atlantis has embarked on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station where it will deliver the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module packed with supplies and spare parts. This was the final mission of the space shuttle program, which began on April 12, 1981 with the launch of Colombia. (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - A spacewalking astronaut ended up with water in his helmet at the end of his excursion Wednesday, scarily reminiscent of a near-drowning outside the International Space Station nearly two years ago.

This time, the amount of water was relatively small - essentially a big watery bubble floating inside Terry Virts' helmet, near his left eye. In the summer of 2013, another spacewalking astronaut's helmet flooded as he struggled to make his way back into the safety of the orbiting lab. He barely made it back in time.

Virts was never in any danger, Mission Control stressed, and he never reported any water during his 6 1/2 hours outside.

This was the second spacewalk in five days for Virts and Butch Wilmore, who encountered no trouble while routing cables in advance of future American crew capsules, due to arrive in a couple years.

Three spacewalks had been planned, with the next one Sunday, but its status was uncertain given Wednesday's mishap. Managers will meet Friday, as planned, to discuss it.

Virts said the air lock was being repressurized when he first noticed the water. He said he reported it about a minute later.

The absorbent pad inside the back of Virts' helmet was damp, but not saturated, said Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. The pad became standard procedure after the 2013 emergency.

Cristoforetti removed Virts' helmet and wiped his face with a towel. She noted that his neck was wet and cold.

The water - cold to the touch with a chemical taste - most likely came from the suit's cooling system, the source of the leak in 2013. Mission Control described the amount of water as "minor," at least compared with 2013.

Virts, a 47-year-old Air Force colonel, spent about half of Wednesday's spacewalk lubricating screws, brackets and tracks on the end of the space station's giant robot arm. The snares had gotten a bit creaky over the past year, increasing the motor current, and engineers hoped the grease would make operations smoother.

"We're the cable guys. Now we're the grease monkeys - or I am," Virts radioed.

"Yep, you guys have a life after NASA," replied Mission Control. "That's good work."

That's when the spacewalk ended - and Virts noticed the water.

The same suit ended up with a little water in the helmet during a Christmas Eve spacewalk in 2013, according to Mission Control.

NASA spent months investigating the 2013 emergency experienced by Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, and zeroed in on clogged holes in a fan and pump assembly.

Another problem with the same fan and pump assembly - believed unrelated to the water issue - had to be cleared before the latest spacewalks could get underway.

NASA considers this the most complicated cable job ever at the 16-year-old orbiting outpost. So far, Virts and Wilmore have routed 364 feet of power and data cables, with another 400 feet to be strung outside the space station on the upcoming spacewalk, whenever it happens.

The extensive rewiring is needed in advance of this year's arrival of a pair of docking ports, designed to accommodate commercial crew capsules still in development. NASA expects the first port to arrive in June and the second in December.

SpaceX and Boeing are designing new capsules that should start ferrying station astronauts from Cape Canaveral in 2017. Manned flights have been on hold at the cape since NASA's shuttles retired in 2011. SpaceX already is launching station cargo.

NASA has contracted out space station deliveries so it can concentrate on getting astronauts farther afield in the decades ahead, namely to Mars.

See more images captured by astronaut Sam Cristoforetti in the gallery below.
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Samantha Cristoforetti astronaut Twitter photos
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After 2nd spacewalk, astronaut reports water in helmet
And a look from above into the eye of the cyclone! E uno sguardo dall'alto nell'occhio del ciclone. #Bansi http://t.co/1IKScsJekl
Finally I’m seeing some land! Got to the Cupola just in time to see the Eastern tip of South America! #Futura42 http://t.co/ChQc1eLdN1
Cloudy over tip of S.America, but hole in the cloud coverage allowed me to see the Falkland Islands(Islas Malvinas). http://t.co/zgyUTNhPnD
Sometimes we fly over cloud patterns like this… hypnotizing! #HelloEarth #CloudGazing http://t.co/boaAOrsHJ0
And sometimes reliefs like this emerge from a sea of clouds. Sculptures of condensation… #CloudGazing http://t.co/me6K6cH5us
And other times… well, I don’t know what to say… see for yourself! #CloudGazing http://t.co/ENvKhMEwPs
Wind and clouds in action on the Namibian coast! #HelloEarth #Futura42 http://t.co/XXramZCo75
Blue jewels in Argentina! Lago Argentino, Lago Viedma and Lago San Martin. #Futura42 http://t.co/x1nnqCo1sS
I feel we’re navigating on black sea sprinkled with stars and the Earth with its moving clouds is the sky #HelloEarth http://t.co/KJ7MOGcHjX
Remembering Nelson #Mandela. Space Station flew over Robben Island today, the site of his imprisonment. http://t.co/5DaNLLfzWa
Flying along the coast of #Tanzania just South of Zanzibar. #HelloEarth http://t.co/kqFkZm2BHM
And here come the island of Zanzibar and, on the coast, Dar Es Salaam #Tanzania #HelloEarth http://t.co/sADs7gsa1P
Stunning shades of blue in the Southern Lake Titicaca in #Bolivia and #Peru. #HelloEarth http://t.co/MpY1qUQle3
And a closer look at mountain Qhapiya. A National Cultural Heritage site of #Peru! http://t.co/dmQem4j9Ld
A storm seen from above – hello #Madagascar! (IT) Una tempesta vista dall'alto - ciao Madagascar! http://t.co/mxYghc202m
More #Madagascar – looks pretty arid on this portion of the coastline. #HelloEarth http://t.co/ddiXQMgwsn
And finally, some of the famous #Seychelles islands… I bet some of you are heading that way in a few weeks! http://t.co/qqyXzSXnmS
Buenos dias #Chile! If I’m not mistaken, this is your capital Santiago. Must have stunning view on the mountains! http://t.co/s3xIybDChI
Beautiful night pass over the Arabian peninsula. Do you know what city this might be? #Futura42 http://t.co/3ZmJ2p9ExK
Flying over #Patagonia and stealing a #space look at the estuary region of the Deseado River. #Argentina #HelloEarth http://t.co/FFKciAsuRE
And here's Cagliari by night. I have wonderful memories of my visits! http://t.co/abc8HJX1Ex
Forgot where I took this picture. Very distinct pretty lines of light - looks familiar to anyone? #HelpRequired http://t.co/nncuzzX3me
Who says that it rains all the time in #England? We've been having amazing clear views from up here! #HelloEarth http://t.co/bJgVzRiJMh
Can't get over my fascination with #clouds. How about these over South America? #Futura42 http://t.co/EMjeKwNJAn
Perfect harmony. The Baltic region, a splendid #aurora and a sky full of stars. #HelloEarth http://t.co/gYjVvdsjJ4
The wind paints with clouds over South America!/(IT) Il vento dipinge con le nuvole sul Sud America #HelloEarth http://t.co/9wpngTnli5
Some of the beautiful #Caribbean islands.. Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique. #HelloEarth http://t.co/Q7bHhNHzXg
And nearby by night... hello Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain! #HelloEarth http://t.co/1q4KJu7bG5
Fascinated by the almost Martian landscape as we flew over #Algeria to the Mediterrean. #HelloEarth #Futura42 http://t.co/pJqgkoDvvv
Finally a daylight pass over #Italy! Only Calabria, Puglia and Basilicata refuse to succumb to the clouds! http://t.co/D0jaNBxpxl
Can you spot the lake in the crater of volcano Cosiguina in #Nicaragua? #HelloEarth http://t.co/fzp8aj8KxQ
On a Niger river bend is Gao, once capital of Songhai Empire. Tomb of Askia in Gao is #UNESCO #Worldheritage #Mali. http://t.co/K6nZFlIQzj
Tannum Sands in Queensland, #Australia, as I peeked out of the window brushing my teeth last night. Beautiful place! http://t.co/xNZPPo6hw5
Simple colors colliding on planet Earth. Semplici colori che collidono sul pianeta Terra. #ColorsFromMyWindow http://t.co/HLqvoXzeWK
And colors flowing into shapes and textures. E colori che fluiscono in forme. #ColorsFromMyWindow http://t.co/gm1UAiny7M
And then this came into view. Amazing! Part of the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea. #Australia #HelloEarth http://t.co/uPRiy2x46i
Snow-capped Western Alps. Amazing how that little cloud can cast such a big shadow on the Po plane in #Italy! http://t.co/GaSaS4WxIH
Over Leptis Magna archeological site in #Libya, among most beautiful cities of Roman Empire! #UNESCO #WorldHeritage http://t.co/b7rQd75Cyv
Hello #Argentina and #Uruguay! You passed by as I was exercising friday. Was happy to take a short break! http://t.co/wsKO8CkThv
Sunglint lighting up the Golfo de Fonseca, shared by #Nicaragua, #Honduras and #ElSalvador. #HelloEarth http://t.co/TQBvT81KY7
Hello #Greece! How evocative... can't help seeing the heroes of so many epic tales and the Gods of so many myths. http://t.co/Drv2ikXUx2
Hello #Marocco! Spotted the medina of Marrakesh, a #UNESCO cultural #WorldHeritage. And a great sight from #space! http://t.co/q7MmCWjWXH
Good catch, everybody! Hello Montevideo, #Uruguay. (Buenos Aires will be for another day). http://t.co/Dz4qjEBmr7
These colors almost look too beautiful to be true. Colori quasi troppo belli per essere veri. #Bahamas #HelloEarth http://t.co/h6Tluuraeu
Mesmerizing colors of our planet. Hey, can you also "see" a person in there? #HelloEarth #Futura42 http://t.co/Ot58J6ZupC
On #Christmas day: the Alpine valley where I grew up. Il giorno di #Natale, la valle alpina dove sono cresciuta. http://t.co/o1rNL9B191
If Santa moved to Southern hemisphere, probably here. Se Babbo Natale si trasferisse all'emisfero sud... #Patagonia http://t.co/4FoSCgXWA3
Clear skies over Gargano in #Italy this morning. Cieli sereni sul Gargano stamattina! #HelloEarth http://t.co/OHrUbo690f
Hello #Senegal! The Saloum delta, a #UNESCO cultural #WorldHeritage site... and a stunning view from #space. http://t.co/ZOtczV72HN
And happy Saturday #Macedonia! Here's your capital Skopje from #space this morning. Buongiorno Skopje, Macedonia! http://t.co/pnZGrZ6vf2
I think you can tell where North is, right? #Canada today. Penso si capisca dove e' il nord in questa foto, no? http://t.co/xEkJgUDmUp
#NewYork NewYork! Can almost see the Statue of Liberty. Which is, by the way, #UNESCO #WorldHeritage! http://t.co/PWDWTunjSR
O'ahu island with the city of Honolulu, in the beautiful #Hawaii / L'isola di O'ahu con la città di Honolulu, Hawaii http://t.co/fOXPK8Ki2d
And hello from #space #Baltimore, hometown of my crewmate @AstroTerry. Hope you were smiling yesterday! http://t.co/DfWQJwlDbO
Part of the #Aral sea peaking through the clouds as we flew into #Kazakhstan! #HelloEarth http://t.co/CutNDg0mGi
Quebec City and the St. Lawrence river dressed for winter! The historic district is #WorldHeritage. #UNESCO #Canada http://t.co/xXPFDwq9qQ
#Brasil, North of Manaus. I'm curious, what are these patterns? #HelpRequired http://t.co/rnk2YfpJrf
This area saw some serious action about 350 million years ago! Gweni-Fada meteorite crater in #Chad. http://t.co/a79fDFhSfy
Hello cloud lovers! Here's a treat I spotted in Morocco. #cloudGazing http://t.co/tyG7slksJK
Shades of white. The Missouri river and Lake Sakakawea - looks chilly down there in #NorthDakota! #HelloEarth http://t.co/jPRjdfWps5
Hello Dominican Republic! Nested in the green is capital Santo Domingo, a #WorldHeritage site! #UNESCO http://t.co/Ak1ZqEQo2W
Beauty everywhere! Flying from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea, this appeared through the clouds. #HelloEarth http://t.co/TEMyD3Dzay
Hello #Azerbaijan and lively capital Baku, city of winds! The ancient walled city of Baku is #UNESCO #WorldHeritage. http://t.co/xZxSzPJ8Th
Hello #Budapest! That's where 2014 started for me. Great memories! Il 2014 e' iniziato qui per me. Bei ricordi! http://t.co/hkZPiZ9gzp
By now all the planet is in 2015! #HappyNewYear from #space Ormai in tutto il pianeta e' arrivato il 2015. #Buon2015 http://t.co/cng6yvs7KK
Yesterday morning, #Italy from Trentino to the Ligurian sea. Ieri mattina l'Italia dal Trentino al Mar LIgure. http://t.co/OoHZHFK0nR
Lonely in the Pacific, the famous Rapa Nui or Easter Island. This very unique place is #WorldHeritage. #UNESCO #Chile http://t.co/FggEydIgoi
From Munich (under clouds) to Bolzano via Innsbruck. All cities very dear to me where I have spent many years. http://t.co/OOvyx4d1vC
Hello #Sicily! Look what I found today in an unsorted folder. Ciao #Sicilia! Una foto ritrovata per caso! #Italy http://t.co/t5KgBK1wsD
Hello #Lisbon! Hieronymites Monastery & Tower of Belém at the harbor entrance are #UNESCO #WorldHeritage #Portugal http://t.co/t3fwtwtux2
The English Channel - La Manche on a cloudy winter day. #France #UK // Il Canale della Manica in un giorno di nuvolo. http://t.co/KURH4lKi2b
The characteristic red patterns of some Sahara regions. Always a mesmerizing sight. #ColorsOfTheEarth #HelloEarth http://t.co/jlepdsezOh
I'd say this is the Columbia river. What do you say, friends in #Washington state? #HelloEarth http://t.co/n3xXWMfBoK
Hello #Mauritania! Biodiversity of this marine zone makes Banc d'Aguin National Park a #Worldheritage site. #UNESCO http://t.co/kGPXbhgCz1
Looks like giant crack in the ice, but I think it's the border of Lake Khovsgol. What do you think? #Mongolia http://t.co/atXkMiOOmg
That special Caribbean blue always captivates me, on clear days through a whirlwind of clouds. http://t.co/RrBqhvp6nS
Here's a closer look to M. Etna. And hello #Catania! / Ecco l'Etna da più vicino. E un saluto a #Catania! #Italy http://t.co/Qgq3qMWP0q
By the salt lakes, can you see Edwards Air Force Base? Many astros were trained here, including @AstroTerry ! http://t.co/KQ8ZBcTDl6
On shores of Lake Ohrid, the town Ohrid in #Macedonia, one of the 1st founded in Europe. #UNESCO #WorldHeritage http://t.co/L4AsnqRQjQ
Some serious air traffic over the Appalachian Mountains in the #US! #HelloEarth http://t.co/yzus1kcOow
After a long journey through Europe and European capitals, the Danube finally arrives to the Black Sea. #HelloEarth http://t.co/nqfsfWQIMK
Hello #Greece! The Acropolis of Athens is a #UNESCO #WorldHeritage site. Haven't visited yet, it's way overdue! http://t.co/dvseJzKx4z
Great Salt Lake in Utah, US. Why the two colors, anyone knows?/ (IT)Qualcuno sa come mai è di due colori? #HelloEarth http://t.co/kjWNw21wJo
Hello #Venezuela and #Colombia! http://t.co/yDMnNMMnc7
Hello #Boston and Gulf of Maine! You make a beautiful sight from #space. #HelloEarth http://t.co/yF0QrcVIL2
Not sure why, but flying over the Strait of Gibraltar always brings a special emotion. #HelloEarth http://t.co/acQQAaGGcT
Hello #SanFrancisco! What a clear view of the Bay Area from #space, I think I can see the Golden Gate! http://t.co/eNr7pDItH6
In the mountains of #Kyrgyzstan. You can follow the river all the way to Baikonur! #HelloEarth http://t.co/X19cIf5D09
Quite some thunderstorms last night over Southern #Italy! / Un bel po' di lampi sopra il Sud #Italia l'altra notte! http://t.co/wxYhfBQAKS
The Namib Sand Sea - looks almost fluid from #space. #Namibia #HelloEarth http://t.co/D6gF74NJHg
Hello Stromboli ! This volcano in #Italy is never too quiet. Ciao Stromboli, mai troppo tranquillo! http://t.co/P22bOOdxNk
Hello #Mexico! The Southern tip of Baja California extending into the ocean. #HelloEarth http://t.co/SzdAJ14NBt
Hello beautiful Lecce! Can you spot the @ItalianAirForce airport of Galatina, where I trained years ago? #Italy http://t.co/18Hn33Fy7l
Hello #SanDiego! Thinking of a great visit a few years ago. http://t.co/6a1EbS0bHo
Two eyes looking back at me./ (IT) Due occhi che a loro volta mi guardano. #HelloEarth http://t.co/tKaUeiHnx4
If it was a painting, who do you think would have painted it? Happy #AustraliaDay! http://t.co/UmWD9oti3r
Hello #Australia & beautiful Shark Bay! Sea grass beds, sea cows and stomatolites in this #UNESCO #WorldHeritage site http://t.co/Odw0stQnDo
Sierra Nevada, true to its name. Hello #Yosemite National Park (great memories!) and Lake Tahoe (want to visit!) http://t.co/N6LfFcKggo
Hello #Sudan! This peculiar bend in the Nile has become a very familiar landmark from #space. #HelloEarth http://t.co/wQaFUXyw50
What do you think of this view of the #GranCanyon and Western United States? I was quite impressed. http://t.co/wN9A9Wwewt
May the memory of such a dark time in our past enlighten the future with wisdom and compassion. #RemembranceDay http://t.co/gM7zGKsumc
Hello #Venice from #space! I have flown in the area many times, but never quite as high. http://t.co/KeqdV2k7cx
The clear waters of the Yucatan peninsula in #Mexico. #HelloEarth http://t.co/2XSlExyjcq
Hello #Yemen and Sana'a! Inhabited for over 2500 years, the old city of Sana'a is a #UNESCO #WorldHeritage site. http://t.co/w0OnZIHnot
Hello #LosAngeles from #space! And a special hello to family and friends in Santa Monica and Pasadena. http://t.co/EehqDcAmOO
Hello #Algeria! The Kasbah of Algiers on the Mediterranean coast is a #WorldHeritage site. #UNESCO http://t.co/qUa8vo3qKD
Tonight a special thought to #Italy after an important day. Stasera un pensiero all'Italia dopo giorno importante! http://t.co/nzKF5e8O6h
A barren African landscape / (IT) Un brullo paesaggio Africano. #HelloEarth http://t.co/9F0gpqZUGC
Amazing... the sunglint makes the currents in sea visible. #HelloEarth http://t.co/jFUhWwLAXV
Pretty winter view close to Canada-US border. Any idea where it might be? Maybe Montana or Washington? #HelpRequired http://t.co/8qiVh5nkcT
The Gulf of St. Lawrence has become one of my favorite places. Look at these amazing cloud patterns! #Canada http://t.co/CasXSTdm4P
Hello Trento! That's where I went to school in my senior year. Good memories! #Italy http://t.co/5F9HH7eufZ
Australian coastline always offers stunning views! / (IT) La costa australiana è sempre spettacolare! #HelloEarth http://t.co/5mA4iU430i
Hello #Kenya! We passed over the Lake Turkana region, here's a view from #space! http://t.co/HIBhkDPnkG
Like a wound in the Earth, the Grand Canyon / (IT) Come un taglio nella Terra, il Gran Canyon. #HelloEarth http://t.co/KfTuMgHxWm
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