US astronaut Terry Virts reports water leak in his spacesuit helmet

After completing a six-plus hour spacewalk, US astronaut Terry Virts`reported a dangerous water leak in his helmet after he floated outside the International Space Station to grease latching parts of the space station`s robotic arm.

US astronaut Terry Virts reports water leak in his spacesuit helmet

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: NASA on Wednesday conducted its second out of the three complicated spacewalks at the International Space Station.

Astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts undertook the second spacewalk. After completing a six-plus hour spacewalk, US astronaut Terry Virts`reported a dangerous water leak in his helmet after he floated outside the International Space Station to grease latching parts of the space station`s robotic arm.

It is believed that the water which has a chemical taste, most likely came from the suit's cooling system.

NASA TV broadcasted the walk live and on its website. It showed live images of Virts smiling inside his helmet and blowing on the water to make it ripple, before eventually removing it with European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti's help.

A similar kind of minor leak was reported by Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano in a December 2013 spacewalk.

Astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts undertook the first spacewalk on February 21. The 6-hour, 41-minute-spacewalk from Expedition 42 of astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts was meant to prepare the ISS for a pair of international docking adapters (IDAs) that will allow future commercial crew vehicles to dock.

The third spacewalk is planned to take place on March 1.

The aim of all the spacewalks is to prepare the space station for the arrival as early as 2017 of US commercial crew capsules bringing astronauts to low-Earth orbit for the first time since the 2011 end of the space shuttle program.

NASA has awarded contracts to Boeing and SpaceX to develop, test and fly capsules that can taxi astronauts to and from the station.

According to SpaceX, the upgraded Dragon V2 passenger spacecraft should be ready for an unmanned debut test flight to the station in late 2016 and a crewed test flight in early 2017.

Boeing plan is to dock an unmanned CST-100 test flight to the station in April 2017.

(With Agency inputs)

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