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A History of Deep Space EVAs

17 Dec 2017, 14:57 UTC
A History of Deep Space EVAs
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Extravehicular Activity (EVA), where space travelers exit their spacecraft to perform tasks in the vacuum of space, has become a fairly routine and necessary part of space operations. Today, EVAs are regularly performed by the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) to set up and recover experiments, repair and maintain ISS systems as well as integrate new components of the station. Since the first EVA was performed by Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov over a half century ago during the Voskhod 2 mission (see “50 Years Ago Today: The Launch of Voskhod 2”), well over 200 individuals have stepped out of their spacecraft to perform EVAs mainly from the US and Russia (or the now defunct USSR).
While the majority of these individuals performed EVAs from Earth-orbiting space stations like ISS and its predecessors or in connection with dozens of missions with the American Space Shuttle, a tiny minority performed them far from the Earth. The most memorable of these were EVAs of a dozen NASA astronauts on the lunar surface as part of the historic Apollo lunar landing missions between 1969 and 1972. Not as well known were EVAs which took place in deep space during the last three ...

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