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EVAs in August

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1971 Dave Scott & Jim Irwin [LSEVA] (Apollo 15 LM)


Duration 7 hr 13 min


Acting on the results of the first traverse, Mission Control modified the route of the second EVA to minimise driving time and maximise the time doing science work. The start was again delayed by problems in charging the PLSS backpacks, but when they did reach the surface the astronauts were delighted to find that the Rover's front steering was working again. They began with a 12.5km drive southeast to the foot of the Hadley Delta mountain and back: the LRV climbed the lower slopes with no difficulty. They reached a height of nearly 100m above the LM, though soft material on the slopes provided poor footing and when stationary the Rover began to slide. In the 1/6th gravity Irwin was able to hold it while Scott picked up a rock. Then at Spur Crater the astronauts found what is arguably the single most interesting sample from the entire Apollo programme: dubbed the 'Genesis Rock', it was originally thought to be part of the Moon's primordial crust but has more recently been dated to around four billion years old, formed after the crust had solidified. Scott described the area as 'a goldmine' of interesting samples, so their time there was extended to 49 minutes. So many rocks were collected that the LRV bounced when they dropped the storage box on it! The astronauts then had to rush because they were reaching the limit of their 'walkback' capability: the distance they could cover on foot if the Rover broke down. Back at the LM, Scott drilled a hole to obtain a core sample but found this very difficult. He then found that the 3m-long core tube could not be removed and was advised to abandon this until the next EVA. Before climbing back aboard the LM, the astronauts planted the US flag.


Fourth EVA for Scott; Irwin's second.



2005 Stephen Robinson & Soichi Noguchi (STS-114/ISS)


Duration 7 hr 14 min


Most of this EVA was taken up by replacing a failed gyroscope: the astronauts disconnected the malfunctioning unit and transferred it to the Orbiter's cargo bay, then retrieved the new gyroscope and installed it on the station. This restored the ISS to four properly functioning gyros. As the EVA drew to a close, they prepared tools for the final space-walk of the mission, due in two days' time.


Second EVA for both astronauts.

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1971 Dave Scott & Jim Irwin [LSEVA] (Apollo 15 LM)


Duration 4 hr 50 min


On the two previous EVAs the astronauts had problems with bubbles in the water supply, caused by the PLSS backpacks being at an angle while charging due to the LM having landed with one footpad in a crater. This time, they ensured that the backpacks were propped upright, eliminating the problem. Surgeons on Earth had monitored irregular heartbeats, later traced to potassium deficiency, and the start of the EVA was delayed by an hour and forty-five minutes to allow the crew additional rest time. This in turn meant that the EVA had to be shortened. When it began, Scott managed to free the stuck core tube but the astronauts then found it could not be taken apart because the vice on the LRV had been assembled backwards! They were finally able to dismantle it with a wrench but this used up an additional 28 minutes of time on the surface. Finally they began their traverse, driving 5km west to Scarp Crater then turning northwest to Hadley Rille. This was the first time they had passed out of sight of the LM, though there was no danger of them getting lost: if all else failed they could have retraced their own wheel tracks. By the time they returned to the landing site the astronauts had covered almost 50km and collected nearly 80kg of samples. Scott parked the Rover a safe distance from the LM so that for the first time their lunar liftoff could be covered on television.


Fifth EVA for Scott (a record): his career total amounts to 19 hr 54 min. Third EVA for Irwin.



1985 Vladimir Dzhanibekov & Viktor Savinykh (Salyut 7 Expedition 4)


Duration 5 hr


This was the first use of the Orlan-DM spacesuit, which provided greater mobility than its predecessor, which would be required on future assembly EVAs. These had been delivered aboard Kosmos 1669, a Progress freighter in all but name. The cosmonauts augmented Salyut's port solar array with two extension panels, one of an experimental design. Parts of the EVA were shown live on Soviet television. The cosmonauts were able to continue working during the orbital night thanks to spotlights on the new suits' helmets. Before returning to the airlock, they installed a Franco-Soviet experiment to collect meteoric dust (including, it was hoped, some from Halley's Comet) and changed out space exposure cassettes.


Second and last EVA for Dzhanibekov, giving a total of 8 hr 35 min. Savinykh's only EVA.

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2004 Gennady Padalka & Michael Fincke (ISS Expedition 9)


Duration 4 hr 30 min


In preparation for the arrival of the first European ATV cargo freighter Jules Verne, the astronauts installed two antennas and other docking equipment, and replaced six laser reflectors with four more advanced models. They also disconnected the cable of a failed camera, finishing the EVA by replacing various external experiment packages.


Padalka's fifth EVA; Fincke's third.



2005 Stephen Robinson & Soichi Noguchi (STS-114/ISS)


Duration 6 hr 1 min


Robinson rode the station's manipulator arm to Discovery's underside, the first time an astronaut had ventured to this area of an Orbiter. It had been discovered that two gap fillers between heat-shield tiles had been dislodged and were protruding a centimetre or so. While it was not thought this would present a problem during re-entry, it was decided to remove them. Elaborate plans were drawn up on how to deal with this, up to and including sawing them back flush with the tiles, but Robinson was able to simply pluck them out with his fingers. With this task accomplished, the astronauts completed the installation of the external stowage platform, which would be used in the future to store spare parts. Finally they installed the MISSE package that would expose materials to the space environment for long-duration periods.


Third and last EVA for both men: their total amounts to 20 hr 5 min.



2006 Jeffrey Williams & Thomas Reiter (ISS Expedition 13)


Duration 5 hr 54 min


The astronauts installed the Floating Potential Measurement Unit, a tool that measured the ISS's electrical potential. They then fitted two more MISSE packages before splitting up to carry out separate tasks. Williams installed a controller to the S1 Truss's rotary joint while Reiter replaced a computer. They fitted several Spool Positioning Devices and a jumper to improve the flow of ammonia. The astronauts then recombined to test an infrared camera, designed to locate thermal protection damage, plus miscellaneous items of equipment.


Third EVA for both astronauts: Reiter's last, bringing his career total to 14 hr 15 min.



2011 Sergei Volkov & Aleksandr Samokutyayev (ISS Expedition 28)


Duration 6 hr 23 min


The cosmonauts were due to deploy an amateur radio satellite but noticed that one of the antennas was missing, so waited for instructions from Mission Control. After being given the go-ahead they pushed the satellite in a retrograde direction to ensure it would rapidly drift away from the station. They then installed a laser communications experiment on the universal work platform. The planned relocation of the Strela crane was cancelled as there was insufficient time remaining.


Third EVA for Volkov; the first for Samokutyayev.

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No EVAs on this date.

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1971 Al Worden [CLEVA], Jim Irwin [SEVA] (Apollo 15 CSM)


Duration 38 min


As the first of the science-heavy J-missions, Apollo 15's Service Module was equipped with a SIMBAY containing various instruments including two cameras. The film cassettes of these had to be retrieved before the SM was jettisoned, and this was CMP Al Worden's job. He carried out the first EVA in CisLunar space, with Irwin providing support standing in the Command Module hatch. Worden crawled back along the Service Module and removed the 39kg Itek panoramic camera cassette, which he tethered to his arm then carried it back to Irwin. On the second trip, Worden picked up the 10kg cassette from the Fairchild surface mapping camera. When this had been safely passed to Irwin, Worden made a third, unplanned, foray to inspect some of the instruments which had malfunctioned during the mission.


Worden's only EVA; Irwin's fourth (including his four Lunar Surface excursions), giving him a total of 19 hr 13 min.

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1973 Owen Garriott & Jack Lousma (Skylab 3)


Duration 6 hr 31 min


This EVA was scheduled for Day Four of the mission, but space sickness among the crew meant it was delayed until the tenth day aboard. The main purpose was to install a second sunshade: tests on the ground had determined that the nylon fabric of the parasol installed by the previous crew would deteriorate from exposure to solar UV radiation. Garriott assembled two poles, each consisting of eleven 1.5m sections, and passed them to Lousma, who was standing in a foot restraint attached to a handrail on the telescope mount. Lousma then attached the poles to a base plate, unfurled the sunshade fabric and secured a reefing line to make it lie flat. The completed shade was then swung into position. With this task complete, the astronauts moved on to other things: Lousma replaced camera film on the telescope mount, then from this vantage point inspected the RCS quads on the Apollo Service Module. A leak had been detected but Lousma could see no obvious signs of this. Had the problem been serious, the mission would have been cut short but in the event it was allowed to run its planned duration. He then removed two bolts to prevent a telescope aperture door from sticking (these had not been designed to be worked on in space) and set up the Micrometeoroid Particle Collection experiment. Originally, this would have been deployed through the science airlock, but this was now blocked by the parasol so had been redesigned to be configured manually.


First EVA for both astronauts.



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