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Spacewalking Made Simple

"Im coming back in. First walker Alexei Leonov spent an SPACEWALKING MADE SIMPLE exhausting 12 minutes outside his Russian spacecraft, on an umbilical tether that also supplied oxygen--and tangled him up. (He had to release air from his suit to squeeze back inside.) And it's the saddest by Julie Rossman and Lauren Biron moment of my life." The 100th spacewalk featured a rare 3.person EVA (most send teams of two), who left the space shuttle Endeavour to hand-capture and attach a motor to boost a suboptimal- ly launched communications satellite, Intelsat VI, into its proper orbit. On five missions, tethered astro- nauts revitalized the bus-sized, and briefly myopic, Hubble Space Telescope, fixing optics and gyro- The first major repair job in space was to fix Skylab, the first U.S. space station, after a shield ripped The only untethered spacewalks (all in 1984) used the Manned Maneuvering Unit, a jetpack-like device that used thrust from expelled The most recent EVA, in January. had two Russian cosmonauts Ed White, the first American to walk in -Astronaut Ed White, returning space, was packing heat. His Hand-Held Maneuvering Unit, a small gun, used jets of compressed oxygen and Newton's third law of motion to propel and brake. Downside: just 20 seconds of power. installing cameras and removing to the ship after the first American spacewalk, on Jun 3, 1965. off one solar panel and jammed another during its unmanned an adapter that might have impeded the ISS's robotic arm, Canadarm2- scopes, repairing insulation, and replacing solar arrays, extending Hubble's life to 2014 & beyond. gas to propel astronauts. The MMUS were used to capture satellites for repair or transit back to Earth. launch. Three manned missions which itself assists astronauts repaired the station stages. during EVAS. 1965 1973 1984 1992 2009 2014 49 YEARS ON THE LINE WHAT C OULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? "That may have been HAZARD 500°F temperature swings can make you freeze or fry. SOLUTION An inner layer of long underwear with 300 feet of tiny tubing circulating water around you, and seven thin layers of Mylar on top of the shape-holding bladder, make the suit act like a thermos, insulating against temperature fluctuations. one small step for Neil, but it's a heck of a big leap for me!" They don't make an SPF high enough to protect you from the sun in space out here where there's no protective atmosphere. HAZARD Total # of spacewalks Total spacewalkers -Astronaut Bruce McCandless, after T 205 SOLUTION Your bubble-helmet's visor is lined with gold to filter out the sun's his untethered spacewalk in 1984 367 harmful rays. HAZARD The bends, from nitrogen bubbles forming in your blood in the low pressure EVA environment, could make you pass out and die. SOLUTION "Pre-breathing" removes nitrogen from your blood. The cabin pressure ...outside the ISS Longest spacewalk 178 0 8.56m 56min is reduced, transitioning you to the even more depressurized suit, then you breathe pure oxygen, instead of Earth's 78% nitrogen air, to remove the possibility of bends-causing bubbles. by James Voss and Susan Helms in 2001 HAZARD Disorientation, fear, and lack of practice can compromise a tricky mission. SOLUTION Training, as in NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, lets ...on the moon Furthest from spacecraft ) 14 320. astronauts practice "floating" and encodes maneuvers in muscle memory. But it's not a perfect simulation: The 6.2-million-gallon pool produces drag, unlike the vacuum of space. ft HAZARD by Bruce McCandless in 1984 -about the length of a football field Lack of friction can put you in an uncontrollable spin, like noted astro-not Sandra Bullock. SOLUTION Real astronauts have a stabilization feature on the emergency Simplified Aid for Extravehicular activity Rescue, SAFER. Should your braided steel tether break, you can use nitrogen gas shot from 24 nozzles to move back toward the ship. World Science Festival

Spacewalking Made Simple

shared by jrossman on Jul 30
When Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov left his capsule during 1965’s Voskhod 2 mission, he became the first of 205 people who have donned a spacesuit and ventured outside the hatch. Here’s everythi...


Lauren Biron


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