CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (July 16, 2013)--NASA aborted a spacewalk Tuesday at the International Space Station because of a dangerous water leak in the helmet worn by Italy's first spacewalker, Luca Parmitano.
Barely an hour into the spacewalk Tuesday, he reported that he felt a lot of water on the back of his head.
The leak was so bad that he needed help from a fellow astronaut getting back into the safety of the space station.
Parmitano at first thought it was sweat because of all his exertion performing routine cable work, but he was repeatedly assured it was not sweat.
His spacewalking partner, American Christopher Cassidy, said it might have been water from his drink bag.
Cassidy said it looks as if a half-liter of water leaked out.
The water eventually got into Parmitano's eyes and that’s when NASA ordered the two men back inside the orbiting lab.
The two astronauts were have performed more cable work and other maintenance chores 260 miles up.
They'll also were to have installed equipment to make the 15-year-old space station more robust in case of future failures.
Parmitano, a former test pilot, became Italy's first spacewalker last Tuesday.
Cassidy, a former Navy SEAL, is a longtime spacewalker.