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1 JULY

 

2020 Chris Cassidy & Robert Behnken (ISS Expedition 63)

 

Duration 6 hr 1 min

 

The astronauts carried out further work to upgrade the ISS's batteries from nickel-hydrogen to lithium-ion. One new battery plus its adapter plate were installed and the old battery relocated to an external platform for future disposal. They also loosened bolts holding nickel-hydrogen batteries in preparation for their replacement on two future EVAs scheduled for later in July.

 

Eighth EVA for both astronauts.

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2 JULY

 

No EVAs on this date.

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3 JULY

 

No EVAs on this date

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4 JULY

 

No EVAs on this date.

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5 JULY

 

No EVAs on this date.

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6 JULY

 

No EVAs on this date.

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7 JULY

 

No EVAs on this date.

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8 JULY

 

1992 Aleksandr Viktorenko & Aleksandr Kaleri (Mir Expedition 11)

 

Duration 2 hr 3 min

 

The cosmonauts used large shears to cut through the thermal insulation on the Kvant 2 module so they could access its gyroscopes: four of the six had failed since launch and the aim was to send TV images back to Mission Control for the engineers to analyse and determine how to go about repairs. They also tested a pair of binoculars designed to be used with a space helmet visor.

 

Sixth and last EVA for Viktorenko: his career total amounts to 19 hr 42 min. First EVA for Kaleri.

 

 


2006 Piers Sellers & Mike Fossum (STS-121/ISS)

 

Duration 7 hr 31 min

 

The ISS's S0 Truss is equipped with a Trailing Umbilical System whose purpose is to sever unused cables; however the device had inadvertently cut its own power and data leads. The astronauts installed a blade blocker and rerouted the cables, then tested the simultaneous use of the Canadarm 2 manipulator and the 15m Orbital Boom Sensor System, which together would serve as work platforms for thermal protection repairs on the Shuttle and access to difficult to reach areas on the station itself.

 

Fourth EVA for Sellers; the first for Fossum.

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9 JULY

 

2013 Chris Cassidy & Luca Parmitano (ISS Expedition 36)

 

Duration 6 hr 7 min

 

The first task was to replace a faulty Ku-band communications unit on the Z1 Truss. Cassidy dealt with this while Parmitano retrieved two space exposure packages for return to Earth. He also photographed an alpha particle detector so that engineers could evaluate its condition. Cassidy then rerouted power cables between the Unity note and the interface between the PMA-1 adapter and Zarya, ready for the arrival of the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory, Nauka. (However the new module's launch was repeatedly postponed and in fact as of July 2020 is still on the ground.) The astronauts then carried out a series of minor tasks, including relocation of two Radiator Grapple Bars, to assist in the replacement of failed thermal radiators, removal of a failed camera assembly and the installation of bypass jumpers to provide backup power capabilities.

 

Fifth EVA for Cassidy; Parmitano's first.

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10 JULY

 

2006 Piers Sellers & Mike Fossum (STS-121/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 47 min

 

The astronauts continued work on the railcar on which the manipulator arm was mounted, bringing it back to full operation. They also installed a new Interface Umbilical Assembly that, unlike its predecessor, did not include a blade. During the EVA it became apparent that latches on Fossum's SAFER backpack (a unit which would enable him to return to safety should he become detached from the ISS structure) had loosened, so Sellers secured them.

 

Fifth EVA for Sellers; the second for Fossum.

 

 


2008 Sergei Volkov & Oleg Kononenko (ISS Expedition 17)

 

Duration 6 hr 18 min

 

The two most recent Soyuz missions (TMA-10 and TMA-11) had both flown ballistic re-entry trajectories which, while safe, resulted in higher than anticipated G-forces on the crew and a landing hundreds of kilometres short of the target area. Russian engineers believed these problems were due to failure of the explosive bolts that separated the Re-entry and Propulsion Modules; thus an EVA was conducted to retrieve one from the TMA-12 spacecraft so it could be examined. The cosmonauts photographed the area then installed protective covers over the attitude thrusters. Kononenko then cut away thermal insulation before Volkov joined him and helped disconnect electrical cables and cut a wire tie. Volkov then unscrewed one of the bolts and stowed it in a protective blast-proof case in which it would be returned for study. A new section of thermal blanket was fitted over the work area.

 

First EVA for both cosmonauts.

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11 JULY

 

No EVAs on this date.

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12 JULY

 

2006 Piers Sellers & Mike Fossum (STS-121/ISS)

 

Duration 7 hr 11 min

 

The main objective was to test out repair techniques on the Orbiter's protective tiles. A number of deliberately damaged tiles were mounted on a pallet in the cargo bay: two with cracks and three with gouges. The astronauts used a ceramic sealant combined with silicon carbide powder, applied with a spatula. Sellers inadvertently lost one of the spatulas, which drifted away and could not be retrieved. However the repairs were carried out satisfactorily.

 

Sixth and last EVA by Sellers, bringing his career total to 41 hr 10 min. Third by Fossum.

 

 


2011 Mike Fossum & Ron Garan (ISS Expedition 28)

 

Duration 6 hr 31 min

 

Although Atlantis was docked to the ISS on STS-135, the last Shuttle mission of all, the EVA was conducted by station residents. They transferred a failed coolant pump to the Orbiter's cargo bay using the station's manipulator arm, then installed the Robotic Refuelling Mission experiment, evaluating techniques of refuelling satellites remotely. Garan then deployed an optical mirror. The work programme was completed ahead of schedule, so the astronauts carried out some 'get ahead' tasks, including the installation of thermal covers to one of the Pressurised Mating Adapters, rewiring cables to the Zarya module, and retrieving a cutting device planned be used on the next EVA.

 

Seventh and last EVA for Fossum: his career total is 48 hr 32 min. Fourth and last for Garan: his total is 27 hr 3 min.

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13 JULY

 

No EVAs on this date

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14 JULY

 

1995 Anatoli Solovyov & Nikolai Budarin (Mir Expedition 19)

 

Duration 5 hr 34 min

 

Solovyov and Budarin had arrived on Mir aboard the US Space Shuttle, replacing the Expedition 18 team which included astronaut Norm Thagard. Their primary task on this EVA was to inspect the -Z port where Kristall would be berthed, checking for leaks following a slow pressure loss a month earlier. Nothing out of the ordinary was found and the cosmonauts moved on to other jobs: using the Strela crane to reach the worksite, they succeeded in opening a jammed solar array using a tool supplied by NASA. Some small sections remained stuck 90 degrees from the planned position but the loss in electrical power was minor and not worthy of concern. The pair then inspected an antenna on Kvant 2 and checked a malfunctioning solar array drive motor.

 

Seventh EVA for Solovyov; the first for Budarin.

 

NOTE The original post here actually described the 19 July EVA. The above is what actually took place! Apologies...

 

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15 JULY

 

1991 Anatoli Artsebarski & Sergei Krikalev (Mir Expedition 9)

 

Duration 5 hr 45 min

 

First of four planned EVAs dedicated to the assembly of the Sofora truss. This was named for a fast-growing shrub native to central Asia and was developed by NPO Energia. The cosmonauts used the Strela crane to move themselves and the truss platform to the worksite on Kvant.  They then attached four heating and assembly devices to electrical power outlets. During the EVA, Artsebarski noticed unusually heavy air leakage through abrasions in his gloves: this was the eleventh time that his suit had been used.

 

Third EVA for both cosmonauts.

 

 

 
2001 Michael Gernhardt & James Reilly (STS-104/ISS)

 

Duration 5 hr 59 min

 

Atlantis delivered the Quest airlock to the station: this could support both American and Russian space-suits. Susan Helms, a member of the Expedition 2 crew, used the station's manipulator arm to lift the airlock out of the Orbiter's cargo bay and, guided by the EVA team, moved it into position on Unity's berthing port. Gernhardt then hooked up the station's heating cables.

 

Second EVA for Gernhardt; first for Reilly.

 

 


2008 Sergei Volkov & Oleg Kononenko (ISS Expedition 17)

 

Duration 5 hr 54 min

 

This EVA was to prepare for the arrival of a new Russian laboratory, with the installation of a docking target on Zvezda. They then transferred an experiment package from Pirs to Zvezda. As the EVA closed out, Volkov had sufficient time to straighten a bent ham radio antenna, and as they returned to the airlock the pair retrieved the Biorisk experiment. 

 

Second EVA for both cosmonauts.

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16 JULY

 

2013 Chris Cassidy & Luca Parmitano (ISS Expedition 36)

 

Duration 1 hr 32 min

 

Various tasks were planned for this EVA, including preparations for the arrival of a new Russian laboratory module, replacement and relocation of camera equipment, and inspection of a door cover over electronic relay boxes on the Truss. However, a little more than an hour in, Parmitano reported that he could feel water on the back of his head and though he was in no immediate danger it was decided to call things off and the astronauts were instructed to return to the airlock.

 

Sixth EVA for Cassidy; the second for Parmitano.

 

 


2020 Chris Cassidy & Robert Behnken (ISS Expedition 63)

 

Duration 6 hr

 

The astronauts continued the process of replacing the ISS's batteries, swapping out nickel-hydrogen cells for more powerful lithium-ion ones. However, two of the older type had to be put back in place because one of the lithium-ion batteries had blown a fuse the previous year. Its permanent replacement was delivered in January and is currently stowed on the Truss ready for installation later this year.

 

Ninth EVA for each astronaut.

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17 JULY

 

1990 Anatoli Solovyov & Aleksandr Balandin (Mir Expedition 6)

 

Duration 7 hr 16 min

 

When Soyuz TM-9 arrived at Mir, it had suffered severe damage to the thermal blankets on the Descent Module: these were flapping loosely around their forward attachment points. This caused the temperature inside the capsule to fall enough that condensation might have formed on the electronics. In addition, the loose blankets threatened to obscure the attitude sensors used to orient the spacecraft for re-entry. It was determined that the cosmonauts would have to carry out makeshift repairs. No EVA had been planned for this Expedition, so they were untrained in basic procedures, leading to an error being made as they began: to exit the Kvant 2 airlock they turned a handwheel until a 2mm-slit opened around the lip of the hatch, allowing the air to escape. Before the wheel was turned further, to release the latches, they were supposed to confirm that the airlock was in vacuum with a handheld measuring device. However, they turned the handwheel too far, releasing the latches while air pressure within the lock was still at 5 kpascal (0.74 psi), which forced the hatch violently open. The first task of the EVA was to set up a pair of ladders so they could reach the worksite, which took around three hours. The work on the spacecraft itself could not be monitored by Mission Control as the TV camera cables were not long enough, so the cosmonauts were working without instruction. They folded back two of the blankets but left the third one alone. They then returned to the airlock, leaving the ladders and tools in situ for the time being, as the Orlan-DMA space-suit safety limit had already been exceeded. It was then that they discovered the hatch would not close: clearly it had been damaged by being forced open at the start of the EVA. To get back inside, they had to use Kvant 2's instrument compartment as a contingency airlock, bringing to an end the longest Soviet EVA to date.

 

First EVA for both cosmonauts - Solovyov would go on to make sixteen in all and currently holds the record for the most EVAs and the cumulative total (just under 80 hours).

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18 JULY

 

2001 Michael Gernhardt & James Reilly (STS-104/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 26 min

 

The new Quest airlock had already been attached to the station; now, using a combination of Atlantis's manipulator arm and that of the ISS, the astronauts transferred three high-pressure tanks (one nitrogen, two oxygen) from the Shuttle's cargo bay into position and connected them up.

 

Third EVA for Gernhardt; the second for Reilly.

 

 


2009 David Wolf & Tim Kopra (STS-127/ISS)

 

Duration 5 hr 32 min

 

Primary objective of this mission was to complete the installation of the Japanese Kibo Laboratory. The two pressurised sections were already in place, having been launched on STS-123 and 124. Now, Endeavour was delivering the Exposed Facility, also known as "the Terrace". Wolf first removed and discarded insulating blankets covering the berthing mechanism, while Kopra released the new facility's launch locks, before it was lifted out of the cargo bay, handed over to the ISS's manipulator arm, and guided into position. The astronauts then transferred spare equipment from the cargo bay to the station, storing it on the Truss. They also carried out several tasks in preparation for the next EVA.

 

Fifth EVA for Wolf; Kopra's first.

 

 

 

 

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19 JULY

 

1966 Mike Collins [SEVA] (Gemini X)

 

Duration 50 min

 

Gemini X had successfully docked with its Agena target, and the flight plan now called for a second rendezvous, with the Agena left behind when the Gemini VIII mission had been brought to an emergency conclusion. It was during this climb that Collins performed a Stand-up EVA, using a 70mm camera to take 22 photographs of the southern Milky Way in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. He also took photos of a special plate to determine if film accurately captured colours in space. Collins and John Young then began experiencing eye irritation and noticed a strange odour in their helmets: this turned out to be caused by lithium hydroxide, used to absorb exhaled carbon dioxide, leaking into their suits; however, the situation was not serious.

 

First EVA for Collins.

 

 


1991 Anatoli Artsebarski & Sergei Krikalev (Mir Expedition 9)

 

Duration 5 hr 28 min

 

Krikalev used the Strela boom to transfer Artsebarski and two boxes of parts to the worksite on Kvant where the Sofora truss was to be assembled. He also delivered the base unit, a cube half a metre on a side, which had been put together inside Mir before the EVA began. The truss was assembled lying back over the docked Soyuz TM-12, parallel to Mir's long axis. The cosmonauts used heating elements to shrink the 'memory metal' connectors that joined the truss sections together, though they had difficulty viewing their work as lighting conditions changed. However, they managed to keep going during orbital night. They also found it impossible to use the foot restraints as the distance from the worksite did not match what they had trained for. Even using just hands and arms to brace themselves in position, they assembled three Sofora segments before the EVA was brought to an end.

 

Fourth EVA for each cosmonaut.

 

 

1995 Anatoli Solovyov & Nikolai Budarin (Mir Expedition 19)

 

Duration 3 hr 8 min

 

The main objective was to have been the installation of the Mir Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer (MIRAS) but during EVA preparations it was found that Solovyov's suit cooling system was faulty, so he had to remain linked to Kvant 2 by an umbilical. Budarin prepared the spectrometer for installation on the next excursion: he also retrieved the US-built TREK detector, placed on the exterior of Kvant 2 in 1991 and scheduled for return two years later, though more pressing EVA demands meant the return had to be postponed. At the end of the EVA the cosmonauts had difficulty closing the hatch.

 

Eighth EVA for Solovyov; second for Budarin

 

* NOTE If this passage seems familiar, it's because I originally posted it as a description of the 14 July EVA. That was wrong, and the post for that date has now been edited to show what actually took place that day. My apologies!

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20 JULY

 

1966 Mike Collins (Gemini X)

 

Duration 39 min

 

After matching orbits with Agena 8, John Young undocked Gemini from their own Agena target before the final closure. Prior to the start of the EVA, the astronauts were instructed to leave one of the two suit fans turned off to prevent a repetition of the lithium hydroxide build-up that had caused stinging eyes the previous day. Collins then emerged from the cabin, unfolded a handrail and removed a micrometeoroid package from the exterior of the spacecraft. Throughout the activity, he had to take care to avoid the attitude thrusters with which Young was keeping Gemini close to the Agena. Collins then transferred across to the target vehicle, demonstrating a technique that would be used on Apollo if the Lunar Module was unable to redock with the CSM. As he caught hold of the docking cone, he attempted to stop his forward motion but his momentum caused him to turn a slow cartwheel. Collins then retrieved a second micrometeoroid package from the surface of the Agena, but this caused the target vehicle to begin gyrating, making it difficult for Young to keep close. Young had the additional task of ensuring that Collins' seat was not exposed to direct sunlight for too long, in case its ejection mechanism was triggered. All of this was causing Gemini's attitude control propellant to drop dangerously low, so Young was forced to cut short the EVA and call Collins back inside. Collins then discovered that he had lost his camera, and as they tried to feed the long umbilical into the cabin it obscured Young's view of the control panel so he could report fuel usage to Houston. Though Collins' EVA had been more successful than Cernan's on Gemini IX-A, it had again shown that a lack of handholds or other restraints meant that a large proportion of the astronaut's time would be devoted to trying to remain in place to do useful work.

 

Second and last EVA for Collins: his total time is 1 hr 29 min.

 

 


2009 David Wolf & Tom Marshburn (STS-127/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 53 min

 

Second EVA devoted to the final assembly of the Kibo Module. Riding the station's manipulator arm, Wolf transferred three large packages from the cargo bay to a stowage platform on the P3 Truss, where they were secured in place by Marshburn. These were the space-to-ground antenna, the space pump module, and the linear drive unit. The remainder of the time was occupied by the setting up of cameras on Kibo's exposed platform.

 

Sixth EVA for Wolf; the first for Marshburn.

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21 JULY

 

1969 Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin [LSEVA] (Apollo 11)

 

Duration 2 hr 31 min

 

The history books show it as 20 July, but that was Houston time: by UTC it was at 02:56 on the 21st that the first human footprint was placed on the Moon. Even as late as April there had still been some doubt as to who would make it: Aldrin, understandably, lobbied for it to be him, pointing out that on Gemini it had always been the Pilot who performed the EVAs while the Command Pilot remained inside. Finally the flight planners came up with what appeared to be a valid engineering reason why Armstrong should get the honour: as seen from inside the cabin, the LM hatch was hinged on the right, meaning that when it was open there was no way for Aldrin to get past it. This was later seen as something of an excuse: the two astronauts could easily have changed places before putting on their PLSS backpacks. Possibly the real reason was that Aldrin was an Air Force officer whilst Armstrong was a civilian, which seemed to many to better demonstrate NASA's non-military status. The astronauts had been scheduled to take a sleep period after landing, though this could be dispensed with: not surprisingly, they were eager to go ahead and Mission Control agreed to bring the Moonwalk forward. Armstrong backed out through the hatch and as he descended the ladder pulled a handle to open the Modular Equipment Storage Assembly (MESA) on the side of the descent stage, which activated the TV camera. The picture was fuzzy (and upside-down for the first few moments) but Armstrong could be made out easily enough. After pausing at the foot of the ladder, still standing on the LM footpad, he checked his balance before stepping into history with the commend, "THAT'S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND." (Armstrong later clarified that he had intended to say "One small step for a man" - i.e. himself.) His first task was to collect a contingency sample of soil, so that if they had to leave early they would at least have some lunar dirt for the scientists. Eventually Aldrin joined him and the two collected rocks and set up scientific equipment, including a seismograph and a solar wind trap. They also planted the US flag, and Armstrong took the iconic photo of Aldrin. (Nobody thought to take photos of Armstrong, so there are no high quality pictures of the first man on the Moon.) The work was interrupted by a call from President Nixon. The pair also unveiled a plaque on the LM's forward leg, showing the two hemispheres of the Earth, the names and signatures of all three crewman (plus Nixon) and the message HERE MEN FROM THE PLANET EARTH FIRST SET FOOT UPON THE MOON, JULY 1969 AD. WE CAME IN PEACE FOR ALL MANKIND.

 

Armstrong's only EVA; the fourth for Aldrin: his career total is 8 hr 14 min.

 

 


1995 Anatoli Solovyov & Nikolai Budarin (Mir Expedition 19)

 

Duration 5 hr 35 min

 

Under guidance from Mission Control, the cooling system in Solovyov's suit was repaired, enabling him to take full part in the next EVA to set up MIRAS. Budarin used the Strela crane to transfer Solovyov and the spectrometer to the worksite on Spektr, where it was fitted in place using three clamps. However when the work was complete no data was being received on the ground. The cosmonauts waited while ground controllers investigated, and the problem was traced to Spektr's transmission system. Once the cosmonauts carried out some adjustments the instrument began returning data as planned. During the EVA, Solovyov broke the record for total time outside, held by Sergei Krikalev.

 

Ninth EVA for Solovyov; third for Budarin.

 

 


2001 Michael Gernhardt & James Reilly (STS-104/ISS)

 

Duration 4 hr 1 min

 

With the new Quest airlock now operational, Gernhardt and Reilly became the first to use it. They installed the last high-pressure nitrogen tank and mounted handrails and other EVA aids to its exterior.

 

Fourth and last EVA for Gernhardt: his career total amounts to 23 hr 16 min. Third EVA for Reilly.

 

 

2020 Chris Cassidy & Robert Behnken (ISS Expedition 63)

 

Duration 5 hr 29 min

 

The astronauts carried out several tasks intended to upgrade the station's systems. The first of these was the installation of a protective storage unit containing two Robotic External Leak Locators, which the Dextre robot can use to detect ammonia leaks from the cooling system. They then removed two lifting fixtures at the base of the solar arrays on the port truss: these had been used for ground processing and had been left in place until now. Next, they completed tasks on the exterior of the Tranquility module, ready for the arrival of the Nanoracks commercial airlock later this year. This will be used for the deployment of commercial experiments. Finally, they rerouted ethernet cables and removed a lens filter cover from an external camera.

 

Tenth EVA to date for each man. Cassidy's career total stands at 54 hr 51 min; Behnken's, at 61 hr 10 min.

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22 JULY

 

2009 David Wolf & Chris Cassidy (STS-127/ISS)

 

Duration 5 hr 59 min

 

At the start of the EVA, Wolf relocated tools and handrails from Harmony to the Columbus module, while Cassidy removed thermal insulation from three packages in the Orbiter's cargo bay, which would later be transferred into position by the manipulator arm. Cassidy then removed covers from the inter orbit communication system and released the clamp holding its antenna. The astronauts were scheduled to replace four of the six batteries on the P6 Truss, but Cassidy's high work rate caused an unexpected increase of carbon dioxide in his suit, and the EVA was terminated after only two had been swapped out.

 

Seventh and final EVA for Wolf, bringing his career total to 41 hr 57 min. First EVA for Cassidy.

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23 JULY

 

1991 Anatoli Artsebarski & Sergei Krikalev (Mir Expedition 9)

 

Duration 5 hr 34 min

 

Before the EVA began, the cosmonauts partially assembled Sofora segments inside Mir to save time. During final preparations, Artsebarski's liquid cooling garment connector came apart, as its operational lifetime had been exceeded, but this did not cause any delay. Eleven sections were added to the Sofora girder and the cosmonauts remarked on how easy the work was. Afterwards, former cosmonaut Vitali Sevastyanov, now host of a popular TV science show, told his viewers that this was because of intense training and preparation. He compared it to a stage performance in that a lot of work is necessary backstage before the curtain rises.

 

Fifth EVA for both.

 

 

 
1999 Viktor Afanaseyev & Sergei Avdeyev (Mir Expedition 27)

 

Duration 6 hr 7 min

 

The cosmonauts installed an experimental Georgian-Russian reflector antenna on the Sofora truss to test a new generation of communications satellites. This was 6.4m in diameter and 1.1m in depth but unfortunately it failed to deploy completely and despite the cosmonauts' efforts it would only open about 80 to 90 percent. The pair were also unable to locate the source of a small leak in Kvant 2. However, they did retrieve two French experiments from the exterior of Mir. Towards the end of the EVA, Afanaseyev's suit suffered a thermoregulation failure.

 

Sixth EVA for Afanaseyev; ninth for Avdeyev.

 

 


2007 Fyodor Yurchikhin & Clayton Anderson (ISS Expedition 15)

 

Duration 7 hr 41 min

 

The pair started by installing a TV camera stanchion on the S0/P1 Truss junction. Anderson then reconfigured an S-band antenna power supply and mounted a foot restraint on the manipulator arm, while Yurchikhin replaced a circuit breaker for the Mobile Transporter rail car. The two teamed up again at the truss junction to remove some flight support equipment and a Flight Releasable Attachment Mechanism. Anderson, using the newly-installed foot restraint, jettisoned these items, before returning to help Yurchikhin disconnect the now-redundant Early Ammonia Servicer, which was also jettisoned overboard: Oleg Kotov, inside the station, using the manipulator arm to move Anderson to the bottom of the main truss so he could push it backwards along the station's orbital path. They then cleaned the Common Berthing Mechanism in preparation for the future relocation of the Pressurised Mating Adapter, itself ready for the addition of the Harmony Module. As they were ahead of schedule, the pair had time to move an auxiliary equipment bag to a new location and to remove some bolts on two fluid trays on the S0 Truss.

 

Third EVA for Yurchikhin; Anderson's first.

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24 JULY

 

2009 Tom Marshburn & Chris Cassidy (STS-127/ISS)

 

Duration 7 hr 12 min

 

The astronauts replaced the two batteries on the P6 Truss which had been delayed from the previous EVA, plus the remaining two. The obsolete cells were stowed in the cargo bay for return to Earth. However, the assembly of the exposed facility camera was postponed until the next spacewalk.

 

Second EVA for both astronauts.

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25 JULY

 

1984 Vladimir Dzhanibekov & Svetlana Savitskaya (Soyuz T-12/Salyut 7)

 

Duration 3 hr 35 min

 

Savitskaya, making her second flight, became the first woman to perform an EVA. Many saw it as a publicity stunt, given that the US was preparing to launch STS-41G, during which Sally Ride would become the first woman to fly into space twice and Kathy Sullivan the first to carry out a space-walk. However, Savitskaya achieved both records at once for the Soviet Union, showing that the days of one-upmanship had not gone away. The cosmonauts tested a Universal Hand Tool (in Russian, Universalny Rabochy Instrument), which combined the facilities of electron beam cutting, welding, soldering and brazing. Savitskaya had been involved in its design, helping to develop the handle, and had practiced both in vacuum chamber and in zero-gee on a parabolic flight, so she was undoubtedly qualified to use it, but some engineers felt it was too dangerous to use given the heat it generated (possibly mindful of the near-disastrous welding experiment on Soyuz 6 when the device went out of control and nearly cut the sample table in half). However, the trial went ahead, Dzhanibekov first setting up a lamp to illuminate the worksite, then connecting the tool to an external power outlet. The two cosmonauts then traded places but Salyut then passed out of contact with Mission Control and they had to wait until communication was restored. Savitskaya then began the test, first cutting a half-millimetre thick titanium sample. In all she performed six cutting, two silver spray coating and six soldering experiments. The two then traded places again so that Dzhanibekov could try using the tool: he said later that it was very handy and felt sure it would be used a lot in the future. The samples were returned to Earth and judged satisfactory.

 

Dzhanibekov's first EVA; the only one for Savitskaya. 

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