Wednesday, 27 January, 2016

Watch ISS spacewalk live today

Tim Peake preparing for his spacewalk
Emely Stone | 26 January, 2016, 00:09

A scheduled spacewalk by two astronauts was aborted because a water bubble appeared in the helmet of one of their space suits.

Both the astronauts went out to fix the issue on a roughly six hours mission, but the mission was cut short in less than five hours due to issue in the helmet of Tim Kopra.

NASA has prematurely terminated the extra-vehicular excursion (EVA) - or spacewalk - that Astronauts Time Peake, KG5BVI, and Tim Kopra, KE5UDN, had been undertaking since early this morning.

NASA stressed that the situation was not an emergency and insisted neither spacewalker was in danger.

Colonel Kopra's helmet-absorption pad, along with a sample of the water bubble taken with a syringe, will be analysed to determine what caused it to form. The two astronauts are now spending the remainder of the planned six-and-a-half hour walk routing cables, which will support the docking of future NASA commercial crew vehicles.

The termination is part of a new ultra-conservative set of rules that were put in place after an incident on 16 July 2013 when astronaut Luca Parmitano found his helmet filling up with water.

Peake and Kopra were back inside the pressurized space station at 12:31 p.m. ET, NASA said.

The ESA live-tweeted the spacewalk with a blow-by-blow description of the astronaut's moving along the station's truss, unbolting the failed regulator and installing its replacement. Peake's spacewalk will be his first, and the first-ever spacewalk for a British astronaut. This means the astronauts had to fix the regulator within about 30 minutes while the ISS was in the shadow of the Earth. There was a brief moment of concern when a sensor on Kopra's spacesuit failed, setting of the carbon dioxide alarm. It's being replaced by a spare dubbed Dusty; the spare has been on the space station since 1999. "So far, I'm OK", Kopra who was making his third career spacewalk, reported.

Tim, representing NASA, will be joined by Major Tim Peake, European Space Agency (ESA), and the first Briton to walk in space.

"We re all watching, no pressure! Wishing you a happy stroll outdoors in the universe", British musician Paul McCartney said on Twitter.

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