Shuttle-Mir Stories

View of Mir 23 commander Vasiliy Tsibliev performing an EVA on the exterior of the Mir space station during the NASA 5 mission.

Foale on his EVA

During his stay on Mir, U.S. astronaut Michael Foale participated in a spacewalk, to inspect the condition of Mir after the collision with the unmanned Progress supply vehicle. Foale talks about this EVA, in his Oral History.

Foale relates, "The EVA itself, I consider fairly straightforward. I translated [i.e., moved] using three tethers, [with] two tethers at any one time attached to the structure . . .

"Anatoly [Solovyev] then waited while I translated to the base of the Strella crane, which is about sixty feet. Anatoly [then] freed the other end of the crane, and I then cranked this crane over with Anatoly on the end of it, through 180 degrees, to the other side of the station to Spektr . . . so he could start his inspection and excavation of the insulation there [to try to find the leak]".

Foale continues, "I then basically sat at the base of the crane for most of the EVA, which lasted for six hours, moving him left, right, up a bit, down a bit, using the two handles on the crane. Once or twice I would translate to Anatoly actually at the work site and hold his feet while he would try and dig in inside underneath the insulation.

"He was using a raisin knife to basically cut away at the insulation. We had a camera with us called Gleesa. . . . It showed the hull to be undamaged in that area even though the exterior panels were buckled and bent there and some of support was bent . . ."

The two spacewalkers were unable to find the hole in Spektr.

Related Links:

EVAs
The Collision
Foale Increment

Profile: Michael Foale
Michael Foale Oral History (PDF)


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