Shuttle-Mir History/Background

Close-up of Usachev outside of the Mir in his extravehicular mobility unit (EMU), waving to the camera.

EVAs

Extra-vehicular activities (EVAs), also known as "spacewalks," are not walks at all, but are described as hazardous, tiring and yet exhilarating exercises.During EVAs, astronauts wear self-contained, protective suits and leave the relative safety of their space vehicle to work in the vacuum of space. The microgravity environment both helps and hinders spacewalkers. They can move massive objects by hand, but footholds are few and, once moved, the objects tend to keep moving.

During the Shuttle-Mir program, U.S. Mir astronauts Jerry Linenger, Michael Foale and David Wolf -- and U.S. shuttle astronaut Scott Parazynski -- performed EVAs with Russian cosmonaut partners. Astronauts Kevin Chilton and Linda Godwin performed an EVA during STS-76. U.S. Mir astronaut Shannon Lucid discussed EVAs in one of her letters from Mir. U.S. astronaut EVAs are listed by date in Timeline.

The U.S. and Russian space programs used different EVA space suits and employed both different and similar EVA techniques. Several excellent videos of EVAs are available on this web site, as well as still photos of EVAs and of the suits.

Related Links:
Lucid Letter on EVAs
Blaha on EVAs
Linenger Letter "It's all downhill from here"
Linenger Letter ""Let me tell you about my Orlan M spacewalking suit"
Foale on his EVA
Wolf on EVA
Training
STS-76
Microgravity
Photos

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