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NASA calls off spacewalk after astronaut's helmet fills with water


Astronaut Mike Fossum during a planned six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk, July 12, 2011. A new study suggests that spending long periods of time in space could damage astronauts' sight.



An International Space Station spacewalk had to be aborted early Tuesday when an Italian astronaut's helmet inexplicably filled up with water, a potentially dangerous complication. 

European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano reported that water got into his eyes and nose, according to, a situation which forced the spacewalk to end after only an hour and 32 minutes, instead of the planned six hours and 15 minutes.

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US astronaut Chris Cassidy was also participating in the spacewalk when Parmitano decided to abort the mission, and observed that about a half-liter of water appeared to have leaked into the helmet of his teammate.

Parmitano appeared to be unable to hear any calls made over spacewalk radio, reported "He looks fine," Cassidy said of his Expedition 36 teammate's condition after the walk. "He looks miserable, but okay."

The two had planned to perform some cable work maintenance and other duties on the 15-year-old International Space Station when the accident took place.