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NASA Still Searching for Cause of Flooded Helmet, Astronaut Says He Felt like a Goldfish

Update Date: Jul 18, 2013 04:13 PM EDT
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Just two days after experiencing perhaps the most terrifying experience of his life, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano shared what it was like to have his helmet filled with water during a space walk earlier on Tuesday.

What was supposed to originally be a 6.5 hour space-walk, mission controllers called it off after just 92 minutes when Parmitano alerted his fellow space-walker that water was filling up in his helmet. The water accumulation continued to a point where the water began to collect around the astronaut's face.

The cause for the water leak is still unsown. According to the Associated Press, astronauts as well as engineers in Houston have ruled out the possibility of his drink bag. The only other possibility is the cooling system for his suit. However, Parmitano said his long underwear which contains water tubes, appears to be fine. However, he wore the same suit on a spacewalk a week earlier, without mishap.

Speaking on Thursday in a TV interview from the International Space Station, said it was hard to see and he was struggling to hear during the harrowing ordeal. Parmitano, 36, said he was "miserable but OK" after Tuesday's spacewalk came to an abrupt end.

"For a couple of minutes there, maybe more than a couple of minutes, I experienced what it's like to be a goldfish in a fishbowl - from the point of view of the goldfish," he said.

"Imagine walking around with your eyes closed in a fishbowl. Really, that's what was going on ... It's just a very uncomfortable feeling to be with your face underwater for all that time," Parmitano added.

Parmitano said he was lucky to get back inside so quickly. NASA managers have said Parmitano could have choked or drowned.

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