The cause of the water leak fault that endangered the life of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano on a spacewalk outside of the International Space Station has been discovered. NASA has revealed that after a long investigation it has been found that silica contamination was the cause of water leaking into the space suit and helmet of astronaut Parmitano during a spacewalk on 16 July 2013.
After initially feeling that his head was wet, Parmitano soon found himself with impaired vision and hearing and with the potential for breathing difficulties as growing globules of water floated around his helmet. The spacewalk was cut short and Parmitano managed to recover himself with the help of fellow spacewalker Chris Cassidy back into the airlock of the International Space Station.
Engineers were initially at a loss for an explanation of what happened having originally blamed leaking drinking water for putting Luca Parmitano at risk of choking and drowning. In fact, the incident on the 16 July was not the first leak caused by this fault. A leaking drink bag had also been blamed for an earlier leak on the previous EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) on 9 July.
Italian Astronaut Luca Parmitano ...