Thursday, August 29, 2013

Drowning in Space

It always felt like there was more urgency to shuttle missions compared to the "leisurely" life of an ISS astronaut.  Don't get me wrong, they do a LOT of work up there.  But there aren't as many emergencies in the day to day life on ISS as there were during a shuttle mission.  And that lack of urgency can sometimes make us forget how important our jobs are.
A couple of weeks ago two astronauts fastened themselves into space suits and floated out of the ISS airlock into the void of space for US EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) #23.  Luca Parmitano is the European Space Agency's astronaut from Italy and Chris Cassidy of NASA were making their way to the station for repairs to their power system.    During the EVA Luca noted rising levels of water in his helmet and the EVA came to an emergency halt.  Luca details the (what I would consider to be terrifying) experience in his blog, here

When something like this happens, it reminds everyone here at NASA and Boeing how important our jobs are.  While my team isn't responsible for the EVA suits, we are responsible for the water and air of the life support systems and so we've been tied in to some of the efforts to troubleshoot the suit.  Here's the video of what happened:

   
(top image from NASA)

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