NASA Greenlights US Spacewalks Again After Spacesuit Helmet Water Incident

By Aazam

After European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer discovered a higher-than-normal buildup of water inside his helmet following a nearly seven-hour expedition on March 23, NASA halted routine U.S. spacewalks

The investigation into the situation is now complete, and it was determined that there was no leak brought on by hardware problems

According to NASA authorities, the water was really condensation brought on by Maurer's extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) spacesuit's cooling mode and the high levels of astronaut exertion

The organization has given the go-ahead for routine spacewalks to resume, with the next one scheduled for mid-November

In a statement on Tuesday, Kathy Lueders, assistant administrator for NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate, stated that crew safety was the agency's primary concern

The length of time it took to get Maurer's spacewalk equipment back to Earth for analysis contributed to the length of the study

The spacewalk of ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano in July 2013 was another spacewalk characterized by a buildup of water in the helmet, and Maurer's experience brought to mind that event

Parmitano, on the other hand, had to cope with far more water; it ended up covering most of his face, forcing the astronaut to end his spacewalk early and return to the orbiting lab

According to an inquiry after the occurrence in July 2013, an EMU water separator's leak was caused by "inorganic elements creating clogging of the drum perforations

At the time, NASA also put a stop on non-urgent spacewalks until it had resolved the problems that led to Parmitano's dilemma

Maurer prepared the orbiting lab for the addition of new iROSA solar panels during his spacewalk on March 23 in collaboration with NASA astronaut Raja Chari