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ExoLance
Suit problem puts EVAs on hold
Posted: Wed, Nov 14, 2007, 6:24 AM ET (1124 GMT)
A problem experienced with a spacesuit during a ground test has caused NASA to ban all spacewalks temporarily, a decision that could delay the next shuttle mission. During a test in a pressure chamber on Friday at the Johnson Space Center, a Russian cosmonaut reported smelling smoke in his suit as well as a sensation of heat behind his neck. Followup tests of the suit have failed to replicate the problem, but as a precaution NASA has put a ban in place on using the suits in any spacewalks from the shuttle or station. The decision could delay the next shuttle launch since two spacewalks are needed later this month on the station to complete the installation of the Harmony module at its permanent location on the station; that work must be completed before the next shuttle mission, which will deliver the Columbus module that will dock with Harmony.
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