Astronaut discusses near-death experience during spacewalk

Published On: Aug 20 2013 03:18:15 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 20 2013 03:40:59 PM EDT
ISS

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -

The Italian astronaut who nearly drowned during a spacewalk last month is sharing more details about the terrifying experience.

Luca Parmitano wrote in his online blog, posted Tuesday, that he felt all alone as water filled his helmet outside the International Space Station.  

Parmitano says he couldn't see far and couldn't hear anyone. He frantically tried to think of a plan to get back to the safety of the air lock. That's when he remembered his safety cable. He used the cable recoil mechanism, and its 3 pounds of force, to "pull" himself back to the hatch.  He says it felt like an eternity.

NASA has suspended spacewalks while determining the cause. The Russians, meanwhile, will stage their second spacewalk in under a week, this Thursday.

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