LiveAs it happened: Tim Peake's first spacewalk

Summary

  1. British astronaut Tim Peake completed his first spacewalk at 17:31 GMT on Friday 15 January after nearly five hours in space
  2. Intended to be longer than six hours, the walk was cut short after his US colleague Tim Kopra reported water in his helmet
  3. The duo successfully completed their main job, replacing a faulty unit that regulates power from the station's solar panels
  4. Other scheduled work, including routing many metres of cables for new docking ports, was left for future spacewalks
  5. Major Tim is currently on a six-month mission to the space station for the European Space Agency

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Webb, Helen Briggs and Bernadette McCague

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The moment the spacewalk was called off

This is the moment today's spacewalk was cut short, due to a water bubble in Tim Kopra's helmet.

It was just before 17:00 GMT - four hours and 10 minutes into the space walk.

Guys, you can start opening your cuff checklists to page seven; we are in a terminate case.

Mission Control

Checks underway on spacesuits

Mission controllers are gathering evidence on what might have caused the bubble of water inside Tim Kopra's helmet.

Station commander Scott Kelly is helping the astronauts inside the equipment room of the ISS.

Tim Kopra's suit and helmet will be carefully analysed.

The temperature of the water is one clue - cold water suggests it came from some sort of leak inside the space suit, rather than sweat or condensation.

Recap: Highlights of Tim Peake's spacewalk

Watch highlights of the two Tims' first task, repairing a solar power unit.

Send us your views: 'Magical moment'

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Lindsey Ann comments on our Facebook page:

And this from Brian Brian, earlier today:

End of a long day - sharing a chat and a smile

NASA
Station commander Scott Kelly removes Tim Peake's helmet...
NASA
...and then Tim Kopra (left) and Tim Peake (far right) exchange a few friendly words after returning from today's spacewalk

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Astronauts safely back inside

Both Tim Peake and Tim Kopra are inside the space station, in the equipment room, with their helmets removed.

"All's well that ends well," said mission commentator Rob Navias.

He said it was a "safe and successful end" to the spacewalk, if a bit early.

Meanwhile, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano - who also suffered a water leak in his helmet on a spacewalk in 2013 - has tweeted his congratulations.

Happy to see @astro_timpeake and @astro_tim safe inside. This is how I measure success:1)crew-safe 2)main objective-completed

Pictures: Tim Kopra back in the space station

The crew managed to withdraw 15 ml of water from Tim Kopra's helmet with a syringe.

The space station crew is now helping him out of his suit.

NASA
Fellow crew members help Tim Kopra out of his helmet
NASA
Slightly damp but safe and sound: Tim Kopra back in the space station

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Send us your reaction: Amazing and brilliant

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Careful process of de-suiting and keeping evidence

The inner door of the airlock is now open.

Back inside the space station, Tim Kopra is being assisted out of his suit.

There is no live TV coverage at the moment, but we can hear instructions being issued - including a request to collect some of the troublesome water with a syringe for later analysis.

Send us your comments: An emotional experience

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Astronauts thank ground control for "dedication and hard work"

Both Tim Kopra and Tim Peake voiced their thanks to the mission controllers as they waited for the pressure in the airlock to equalise. 

twitter: https://twitter.com/Space_Station/status/688052778036404225

Although not all the jobs on the list were completed, the two Tims did manage to restore full power to the ISS when they replaced the "sequential shunt unit" just before 15:00 GMT.

Add to the debate: making pizza

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 Amazing! My 10 yr old son and I are making pizza dough whilst watching the space walk AND listening to Hunky Dory by David Bowie too.  

  Jackie Barker & Sam Napier   

BreakingSpacewalk officially ends at 17:31 GMT

The airlock is being repressurised now, which denotes the official end of the spacewalk, according to Nasa - after four hours and 43 minutes.

Astronauts prepare to go back inside ISS

The two Tims, safely inside the airlock, are now running through checks and closing the hatch behind them.

Their colleagues on the space station are waiting on the other side of the inner door, to help them out of their space suits.

Inside the Space Station Yuri, Scott & Sergei waiting to open the hatch and help the #spacewalk duo out of suits

Both astronauts are back inside the airlock

Tim Peake and Tim Kopra are now both inside the airlock. This image shows the thermal cover closed behind them; the hatch itself still needs to be shut.

Nasa

Not the first experience of a water leak in a spacesuit

Helen Briggs

BBC News

Space controllers are taking no chances after an incident in 2013 when Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano discovered his helmet was starting to fill with water during a spacewalk.

His ventilation system had sprung a leak. Liquid doesn't flow under microgravity, so the water sat in his helmet, forcing him to cut short his spacewalk.

"I started going back to the airlock and the water kept trickling," Parmitano has said.

"It completely covered my eyes and my nose. It was really hard to see. I couldn't hear anything. It was really hard to communicate.

"I couldn't breathe through my nose - I felt isolated and when I tried to tell ground that I was having trouble finding my way, they couldn't hear me, and I couldn't hear them either.

"Instead of focussing on the problem - which was I may drown with the next gulp of air - I started thinking about solutions."

Parmitano gradually felt his way back to the airlock and made it safely back inside.

Steady progress wrapping up the spacewalk

After the decision to end the spacewalk early, mission controllers are watching closely in Houston as the crew heads back to the airlock.

Nasa says the astronauts are "not in any danger whatsoever".

NASA
NASA

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Get in touch: Tim Peake 'a real hero'

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Another contribution to the soundtrack discussion...

Astronauts head back to airlock

The two astronauts were more than four hours into the planned six-and-a-half hour spacewalk when the problem happened. 

Nasa says Tim Kopra reported a small water bubble in his helmet and with the essential work completed the decision was made to terminate.

Nasa says the crew are not in any danger but are being told to return to the station as a precaution.

With the primary task accomplished @astro_timpeake & @astro_tim are heading back to the airlock - safety first

More repairs completed

Before the decision to terminate the spacewalk, Tim Kopra did manage to install a component known as the NPV - non propulsive vent.

This was the second major task on the list.

Voltage regulator on? Check. Vent installed? Check. Now @Commercial_Crew cable work, bolt release and camera work.

Nasa calls crew back in, but situation is "not an emergency"

The decision to end the spacewalk early was made by ISS spacewalk flight director Royce Renfrew.

Nasa says it is not an emergency.

Tim Kopra is moving back towards the airlock, followed by Tim Peake.

#Spacewalk terminated by lead Flight Director. @Astro_Tim & @Astro_TimPeake headed back to airlock. Major task accomplished.

BreakingSpace walk to be ended

The space walk is being terminated after Tim Kopra reported a small amount of water in his helmet.

Send us your comments: Stars are comparatively faint

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A response to Gary Burrows' question, below...

Tribute Tims line up for Tim Peake and Tim Kopra

Reid Wiseman, an astronaut who has previously completed a very similar spacewalk, is guiding the two Tims from mission control today, at Johnson Space Center in Houston.

He decided he should be called Tim too...

.@astro_reid cleans up nicely! We're all wearing our "Hello my name is Tim" solidarity name tags! @brownpau #askNASA

And he is not alone!

twitter: https://twitter.com/NASA_Johnson/status/688031539918147590

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Tell us what you think: Out of this earth

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Get involved: Perfect spacewalk soundtrack?

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Astronauts to split up and work on separate tasks

The two Tims will now move apart and work on different sections of the space station.

Before they moved away from the airlock, astronaut Reid Wiseman at mission control asked how they were feeling.

"I'm feeling good," said Tim Kopra, who is assigned the identifier "EV1".

"EV2's doing good," added Tim Peake.

NASA
Tim Kopra (left, with red stripes on the legs of his suit) and Tim Peake (upper right), near the airlock

Send us your comments: "I can't look away"

Carol Eyden on our Facebook page:

I haven't taken my eyes off [the spacewalk] since it started. Even when I was making a bread and butter pudding my laptop was on the draining board... The NASA footage is great, thank you!

Faulty unit safely stowed back in the airlock

"I've placed the failed SSU unit back in the airlock," said Tim Peake.

NASA
Faulty sequential shunt unit, safely stowed

"Everything is looking great," said mission control, as Tim Kopra continued to work and Tim Peake was asked to "hang out" and wait for further instructions.

Nasa
Major Tim hangs out near the airlock

Spectacular view of Tim Peake traversing the space station

The two Tims are stowing some equipment back in the airlock, before they continue with today's jobs.

An external camera on the space station captured this shot as Tim Peake made the careful journey back towards the airlock.

Nasa
Major Tim spacewalking with a big bag of tools

Spacewalk continues - ahead of schedule

The astronauts are continuing with their tasks, and their prompt work with the Sequential Shunt Unit has put them ahead of the timetable.

"The SSU is performing as expected, with the Sun up," the two Tims were told by mission control.

NASA

Meanwhile, the brief discussion about a carbon dioxide (CO2) reading from Tim Kopra's suit was "no cause for alarm" according to the European Space Agency:

twitter: https://twitter.com/esaoperations/status/688013208221777921

Successful communications check for the new unit

The replacement sequential shunt unit is installed and is being checked out back on Earth.

Libby Jackson from the UK Space Agency tweets:

Good comm check with the SSU! Good work boys :-) #spacewalk

There is plenty more on the to-do list for today's spacewalk, however...

New voltage regulator installed. Ground checking to see if power is restored during #spacewalk.

BreakingElectrical unit successfully replaced

The new box has been secured into place, we hear from the Nasa commentary.

A discussion is now underway about a possibly faulty sensor on Tim Kopra's space suit.