NASA Astronaut Alarmed When Water Starts Squirting Out of Her Suit as She Embarks on Spacewalk

Arctic Blast

A NASA astronaut, about to leave the airlock to embark on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, was alarmed to discover water squirting from her spacesuit and covering her visor with ice.

As the New York Times reports, astronaut Tracy Dyson discovered the leak just moments after switching her suit to battery power. The umbilical cooling unit attached to her suit started leaking water, forcing NASA to cancel her and fellow astronaut Mike Barratt's imminent spacewalk.

The incident occurred just after the pair opened the station's airlock hatch, according to NASA.

"There’s water everywhere," Dyson told mission control. "I got an arctic blast all over my visor."

It's the second time NASA had to cancel a spacewalk this month. Dyson was scheduled to perform a separate spacewalk, but fellow crew member Matthew Dominick reported a "spacesuit discomfort issue," forcing the agency to call it off.

The latest leak must've made for a terrifying discovery.

"I could see the ice crystals flowing out there," Dyson said. "Just like a snow cone machine, there was ice forming at that port."

Drowning in Space

Apart from the two canceled spacewalks, NASA and Boeing have also struggled to investigate several helium leaks affecting the aerospace giant's plagued Starliner spacecraft, which was meant to return two astronauts back to Earth several weeks ago.

Boeing and NASA delayed the return mission for a third time Friday evening, extending crew members Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams' stay on board the ISS by weeks.

Earlier this month, NASA was also forced to issue an apology after accidentally broadcasting the audio of an emergency drill.

In the case of the most recent water issue, Dyson successfully plugged the leak by reconnecting the umbilical unit. The pair managed to get inside the station and out of their suits within just 45 minutes, per the NYT.

They were originally tasked with removing a faulty electronics box and collecting samples of microorganisms from the exterior of the station.

It's not the first time astronauts have struggled with leaky spacesuits. In 2022, crews on board the ISS noticed that their helmets kept filling with water, putting them in a potentially life-threatening situation.

In 2013, European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano became terrifyingly close to drowning while venturing outside of the ISS when his helmet filled with water, "covering his eyes, nose and ears" and forcing NASA to cut the spacewalk short.

It's unclear whether the next spacewalk, which is scheduled for July 2, will now take place. Given the optics and risks involved, NASA is likely to play it safe for the time being.

More on the ISS: NASA Apologizes for Broadcasting Emergency on Space Station