Shuttle-Mir Stories

Solovyev and Wolf wearing their Sokol suits

Wolf on EVA

During his residency on Mir, U.S. astronaut David Wolf participated in a spacewalk. He talks about it, in his Oral History.

Wolf says, "When I was nine years old, I saw Ed White do the first American spacewalk [in 1965], and it was that moment that I decided I'd like to be an astronaut and, in fact, I'd like to do a spacewalk as an astronaut.

"It was thirty-one years later that I did it. It was worth every minute of the wait. But I never dreamed it would be from a Russian spacecraft, in a Russian spacesuit, speaking Russian with a Russian who had been out sixteen times, the most experienced spacewalker in the world, and that's what Anatoly Solovyev is.

"So it was a real first-hand lesson from the number-one guy in the field, and that was a privilege. I helped Pavel [Vinogradov] and Anatoly do five spacewalks from an in-cabin point of view, so I felt very ready to go . . .

Wolf narrates the experience, saying, " Clipped on [with a safety tether] and opening the hatch and pushing yourself free is the highlight of a person's life. You look back at this space complex and the Earth, and it looks like two spacecraft flying in formation with each other. And you get a real perspective globally of what's going on here and what we've accomplished as a society.

"It's just awesome to see this panoramic view, much wider than you can see through any window, and [you're] in essentially a personal spacecraft. But pretty quickly you get your attention refocused to the job at hand and the details involved with that . . ."

Related Links:
Wolf Increment

Profile: David Wolf
David Wolf Oral History (PDF)

Text only version available

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