A little more than one hour into Tuesday's spacewalk, Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency reported water floating behind his head inside his helmet. The water was not an immediate health hazard for Parmitano, but Mission Control decided to end the spacewalk early.
Flight Director David Korth directed that both Chris Cassidy and Parmitano return to the Quest airlock and re-enter the station. Cassidy took care of clean-up procedures before returning to the airlock. The spacewalk officially began at 7:57 a.m. EDT, and ended at 9:39 a.m. when the airlock was repressurized, for a total duration of 1 hour, 32 minutes.
Cassidy and Parmitano had planned to complete a number of tasks to prepare for the arrival of a new Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module later this year, replace a video camera on the Japanese Exposed Facility experiment platform, relocate wireless television camera equipment, troubleshoot a balky door cover over electronic relay boxes on the station’s truss and reconfigure a thermal insulation over a failed electronics box that was removed from the station’s truss last year.
› View the spacewalk timeline (4 Mb PDF)
Mission managers will work to identify when the unfinished tasks will be completed. None of those tasks are urgent, and the crew and station are not in any danger.
An ISS Expedition 36 Post-Spacewalk briefing took place around 4:30 p.m. on NASA TV. Participants were Korth, lead spacewalk officer Karina Eversley and Kenneth Todd, ISS Mission Management Team Chairman.
This spacewalk was the second shortest in space station history. It was the 171st spacewalk in support of station assembly and maintenance, totaling 1,075 hours, 22 minutes.
Cassidy now holds 31 hours and 14 minutes during six spacewalks, and Parmitano now holds 7 hours and 39 minutes during two spacewalks.