ISS spacewalk interrupted by suit malfunction

A Russian cosmonaut just dealt with a rare spacesuit problem. Mission control ordered Oleg Artemyev back to the International Space Station's airlock after encountering a suit issue. 

While exact cause of trouble wasn't clear, NASA commentators noted a "slight fluctuation" in suit's battery power. Artemyev returned safely, plugged into station's power supply and resumed operations.

Bob Navias said he "never was in any danger" when the anomaly occurred. Artemyev and fellow Denis Matveev were in midst of outfitting the ESA's robotic arm with cameras and other equipment changes.

While this appears to have been a mild incident, it may have produced unpleasant flashbacks. Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano's suit leaked during two spacewalks in July 2013. 

During the second sortie, Parmitano's helmet filled with water and made it difficult to breathe — his calm return to base may have helped save his life, according to a NASA report.

The incident led the agency to pause all non-emergency spacewalks until it isolated the cause (a clogged filter) and took steps to prevent future crises.

Artemyev's issue might not lead to a similar review. But it shows how fragile space exploration still is. Mission teams don't want to take risks as a minor error in space can grow into a serious one.