Astronaut recounts near-drowning on spacewalk

2:24 PM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - 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" him 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.

MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

The Associated Press

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