Perhaps the most harrowing of all the occurrences involved a spacewalk by Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka during the 2010 mission. While out doing a spacewalk, Skripochka came untethered from the ISS. He would have drifted out into space if his floating body hadn’t happened to hit an antenna. This thankfully sent the cosmonaut gliding back towards the safety of the station. Kelly didn’t even hear about the near-tragedy until five years later on his year-long mission. He writes about it in his recently released autobiography.
“I’ve often pondered what we would have done if we’d known he was drifting irretrievably away from the station,” Kelly wrote. “It probably would have been possible to tie his family into the comm system in his spacesuit so they could say good-bye before the rising [carbon dioxide] or oxygen deprivation caused him to lose consciousness – not something I wanted to spend a lot of time thinking about as my own spacewalk was approaching.”