Astronaut Soichi Noglichi (from Japan’s space agency) waving for the camera during an Extra-vehicular activity. Astronaut Steve Robinson is seen taking the picture reflected in the visor. Image credit: NASA/Science Photo Library
Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) spacewalks are performed by astronauts, well protected by their space suit. They face temperatures as cold as minus 150 and 120 degrees-Celsius well over the boiling point of water!
The above image was taken during the second spacewalk while space shuttle Discovery was docked to the International Space Station (ISS), on 1 August 2005. It was the first shuttle mission since Columbia was lost on re-entry on 1st February 2003.
Cosmonaut Sergey Volkov works outside the International Space Station on August 3, 2011. Image credit: wikimedia
EVA is any activity done by an astronaut or cosmonaut outside of a spacecraft beyond the Earth’s appreciable atmosphere. The term most commonly applies to a spacewalk made outside a craft orbiting Earth (such as the International Space Station), but also has applied to lunar surface exploration (commonly known as moonwalks) performed by six pairs of American astronauts in the Apollo program from 1969 to 1972. On each of the last three of these missions, astronauts also performed deep-space EVAs on the return to Earth, to retrieve film canisters from the outside of the spacecraft. Astronauts also used EVA in 1973 to repair launch damage to Skylab, the United States’ first space station.
Stephen Robinson riding the robotic arm during STS-114, doing a first in-flight repair of the Space Shuttle. (Landmass in the backdrop is the Bari region of Somalia.) Image credit: wikimedia