Skip to comments.The Spacewalk That Almost Killed Him: How Luca Parmitano survived the scariest wardrobe malfunction
Posted on 03/23/2014 10:23:54 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine
Over dinner that night, the astronauts and cosmonauts had discussed their options. Cassidy was of the opinion that NASA would probably wait until he and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, who was scheduled to arrive in a couple of weeks, could do an extravehicular activityNASA parlance for a spacewalkto assess the problem. Houston ordinarily didnt like to rush into anything, let alone an EVA. Plus, half the crew was packing up to return to Earth in just four days. Thats why Cassidy couldnt believe what he now saw on his laptop screen in big red letters: Welcome to EVA prep day. He and fellow NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn were going outsidetomorrow.
There was a time, not long ago, when spacewalks were considered risky business, almost feared. When NASA was preparing to build the space station in the mid-1990s, some experts didnt think the agency could safely pull off three or four assembly spacewalks on every shuttle mission, several times a year, for a decade. They called the stations demanding EVA schedule The Wall, and thought it was insurmountable.
What happened on July 16 therefore came as a surprise, and some participants think it could have ended up worse. In some ways we got lucky, says Shane Kimbrough, the astronaut who was in mission control that day talking to spacewalkers Parmitano and Cassidy. Tanner, the veteran EVA chief, says, I would rank the level of stress for crew members and ground team right up there with the first space U.S. spacewalk in 1965. Parmitano, he says, had every right to be fearful for his life.
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The Spacewalk That Almost Killed Him: How Luca Parmitano survived the scariest wardrobe malfunction in NASA history
Alexei Leonov almost couldn’t get back into the ship on the first EVA because the Russians failed to take expansion into account. He had to depressurize his suit to get back into the ship.
a few others from the archives:
Space suit failure in testing. (Amazing the guy survived with no ill effects)
Bean had a problem with his suit inflating, and it turned out that his body (which also swells in the lower pressure environment) was plugging the “out” port, so NASA covered it with a little cage.
It looks fun but it’s real dangerous stuff up there.
I cannot begin to fathom what drives men to do this sort of work. Glad that there is someone willing to do it, but I will stay right here on terra firma, thank you.
Don’t want to travel in a submarine either. Yipes!
I was a little disappointed at the lack of explanation about how the leak occurred. I hope they've figured out the details by now. It'd be interesting to know.
To me, the most interesting failure was the Hubble one. All because an engineer was confident that an observed error was a fluke due to gravity.