One of the two astronauts who ventured out of the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday ended up having unwanted water in his helmet, a leak reminiscent of a near drowning incident that occurred outside the space laboratory almost two years ago.

Astronauts Terry Virts and Barry "Butch" Wilmore had just completed almost seven hours of spacewalk to upgrade the docking ports of the ISS in preparation for the arrival of the Boeing and SpaceX space taxis that are due to arrive in a couple of years when Virts reported of a water leak.

In 2013, the helmet of a spacewalking astronaut was flooded and he hardly made it back inside the ISS. The amount of water on Virts' helmet though was relatively small. He never reported any leak during the six and a half hours that he was outside of the space station and Mission Control said that he was never in danger. Compared with the incident in 2013, Mission Control said that the amount of water was "minor."

A syringe was used to remove about 15 milliliters of water from Virts' helmet. The water also seemed to have come from inside the suit itself and not from the astronaut's drink bag. Virts said that the water has a chemical taste and that it is some type of technical water.

NASA is very concerned with any form of water intrusion on the space helmets of astronauts because this poses dangers to astronauts working in microgravity. During the 2013 incident when Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano reported of a substantial amount of water in his spacesuit helmet, NASA had to cut short the spacewalk. Water had at times covered the astronaut's mouth, nose and ears.

Although the water leak on Wednesday was minor, NASA engineers will still study the incident while reviewing the plans for the next scheduled spacewalk of Virts and Wilmore.

"The teams will carefully evaluate the spacesuit data and perform a detailed assessment prior to the next spacewalk," NASA said. "Virts and fellow spacewalker Barry Wilmore are scheduled to perform their third and final spacewalk on Sunday, March 1."

The newly concluded spacewalk was second of three spacewalks needed to prepare for the arrival of docking ports that will accommodate the space taxis that are still being developed. NASA has commissioned SpaceX and Boeing to build the new capsules in a bid to stop the dependence of U.S. on Russia for ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS.

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