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1 SEPTEMBER

 

1985 James van Hoften & William Fisher (STS-51I)

 

Duration 4 hr 26 min

 

The previous day, the astronauts had repaired the Syncom IV-3 satellite; now it was time to send it on its way. They installed an instrumented cover over the nozzle of its apogee kick motor, then armed it. After Syncom was released by the manipulator, they found it difficult to handle, largely because they were on opposite sides of the 4.3m drum and could not see each other, and sometimes tried to move it with opposing motions. Van Hoften warned that "if something happens and I’m about to lose it, I’m going to give it a heck of a push and bail out!" They managed to get it under control, however, and van Hoften--whose nickname in the astronaut corps was 'Ox'--manually spun it up to 3rpm and released it. The boost to geostationary orbit would not take place for some time, allowing the satellite to warm up first, but eventually it reached its operational position and went to work. In their post-flight debrief, the astronauts recommended against carrying out EVAs on consecutive days.

 

Fourth and last EVA for van Hoften, bringing his career total to 21 hr 13 min. Second and last for Fisher: his total amounts to 11 hr 51 min.

 

 

 
2009 Daniel Olivas & Nicole Stott (STS-128/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 35 min

 

Stott had arrived at the ISS aboard Discovery, but after docking she replaced Tim Kopra as part of the Expedition 20 team. The astronauts performed various maintenance tasks on the ISS, starting with the removal of a depleted ammonia tank from the P1 Truss. This involved disconnecting two ammonia, two nitrogen and two electrical lines. The station's manipulator arm was used to transport the empty tank to a temporary stowage area. They then retrieved space exposure experiments from the Columbus laboratory and brought them inside.

 

Third EVA for Olivas; the only one for Stott.

 

 


2016 Jeff Williams & Kate Rubins (ISS Expedition 48)

 

Duration 6 hr 48 min

 

The main objective of this EVA was to retract a thermal radiator on the P6 Truss. This was used during the early years of the station's construction, when its main cooling system was not yet operational. Though no longer in use, it had been deployed during an EVA in 2012 in an attempt to isolate a coolant leak. With it still in an extended position, it was at risk of damage from micro-meteoroid strikes, so it had been decided to retract it during an EVA the previous November, but time constraints meant this was not achieved. This time, however, the retraction went smoothly, the radiator folding in like an accordion when a single bolt was turned with a pistol-grip tool. Once closed, the radiator was secured in place and a thermal cover fitted on top. The astronauts also installed two enhanced high-definition cameras on the truss, tightened bolts on one of the solar array rotary joints, photographed the joint's interior and tied back a thermal blanket.

 

Fifth and last EVA for Williams: his career total is 31 hr 55 min. Second and last for Rubins: her total is 12 hr 46 min.

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3 SEPTEMBER

 

1992 Anatoli Solovyov & Sergei Avdeyev (Mir Expedition 12)

 

Duration 3 hr 56 min

 

The objective was to prepare for the installation of a thruster package known as the VDU on the end of the Sofora truss. This had been delivered by Progress M-14 two weeks earlier, in a special compartment replacing the area where Progress normally carried fluid cargo. The VDU would not be fitted on this excursion, but the cosmonauts installed a locking device on Sofora to hold it securely while in a bent back configuration, to avoid any inadvertent movement when they were working on it later.

 

Third EVA for Solovyov (he would go on to make sixteen in all); Avdeyev's first (he would make ten).

 

 


2004 Gennady Padalka & Michael Fincke (ISS Expedition 9)

 

Duration 5 hr 21 min

 

The astronauts replaced the Zarya module's thermal system fluid control unit, a device which measured coolant levels. Next, they mounted guides on four of the module's handrails to prevent tethers snagging. As orbital night fell they took a break, updating Houston on the ISS's orientation to determine how EVA activity might be affecting it. In daylight once more, they installed three communications antennae on Zvezda, which would be used by ESA cargo ferries in the future, then fitted protective handrail covers on the Pirs airlock hatch, again to avoid snagging. The EVA concluded with Fincke photographing the MPAC/SEED experiment.

 

Sixth EVA for Padalka; fourth for Fincke.

 

 


2009 Daniel Olivas & Christer Fuglesang (STS-128/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 29 min

 

The astronauts installed a new ammonia tank on the P1 Truss. Olivas began by removing the insulation covers while Fuglesang positioned himself on the ISS manipulator arm's foot restraints. Next, they unscrewed four bolts holding the tank in the Orbiter's cargo bay, so that it could be transferred into its new location. There, the astronauts fastened it in place with four more bolts and connected up the power and fluid lines. With the tank in place, they retrieved the old tank from where it had been temporarily stowed two days earlier and secured it in place in Discovery's cargo bay for return to Earth, where it would be serviced and refilled for delivery back to the Station for reuse.

 

Fourth EVA for both astronauts.

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5 SEPTEMBER

 

2009 Daniel Olivas & Christer Fuglesang (STS-128/ISS)

 

Duration 7 hr 1 min

 

The astronauts completed tasks left over from previous EVAs, deploying a cargo attachment system on the S3 Truss, then replacing a malfunctioning gyroscope. They then split up for individual work: Olivas prepared heater lines on the mating adapter for the future arrival of the Tranquility module, while Fuglesang removed a bolt on the S0 Truss to replace the Remote Power Control Module: the new one was slid into place and secured with the same bolt. He also installed an insulation cable that would hook up with the Tranquility node, but was unable to connect the second cable. At the end of the EVA, Olivas detached a damaged slidewire on the Unity module, also in preparation for Tranquility.

 

Fifth and last EVA for both astronauts. Olivas' career total amounts to 34 hr 28 min; Fuglesang's to 31 hr 54 min. This set the cumulative duration record for a non US/Russian spacewalker (Fuglesang is Swedish), though in January 2020 this was broken by Luca Parmitano of Italy (33 hr 9 min).

 

 


2012 Sunita Williams & Akihiko Hoshide (ISS Expedition 32)

 

Duration 6 hr 28 min

 

On their previous EVA on 30 August, the astronauts had been unable to drive home bolts securing a Main Bus Switching Unit. It was thought that the threads might be damaged, but this time they were able to complete the task. They also installed a TV camera on the manipulator arm.

 

Williams' sixth EVA: she set a cumulative record for EVAs (44 hr 2 min) by a woman, overtaking Peggy Whitson, and would push it further two months later, though Whitson would retake the top spot in 2017, ending up with a career total of 60 hr 21 min over ten spacewalks. Hoshide's second EVA.

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6 SEPTEMBER

 

1997 Anatoli Solovyov & Michael Foale (Mir Expedition 24)

 

Duration 6 hr

 

The cosmonauts' task was to inspect the exterior of the Spektr module to assess the damage caused by the collision with the Progress freighter a few weeks earlier. It was particularly dangerous because of the sharp edges that might have resulted, which might puncture the spacesuits. While Foale operated the Strela crane to manoeuvre his partner into position, Solovyov cut away thermal blankets to expose the hull itself, revealing that the exterior panels were buckled and bent and some of the support structure was also damaged, but there was no indication of an actual hole. In the event, the source of the leak on Spektr was never found. Foale shot video footage of the area and the cosmonauts adjusted a solar panel, increasing Mir's power supply by ten percent.

 

Eleventh EVA for Solovyov (he is the only man to make more than ten); Foale's second.

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7 SEPTEMBER

 

1992 Anatoli Solovyov & Sergei Avdeyev (Mir Expedition 12)

 

Duration 5 hr 8 min

 

The cosmonauts bent back the Sofora truss on a hinge a third of the way along its length and locked it in place using the device they had fitted four days earlier. They then attached the thruster package, which was deployed from the Progress freighter at the correct angle to fit the top of the truss. It was secured in place by metal braces and connected to the power supply by a 14m cable. They also removed the metal frame holding the remnants of the Soviet flag placed there by the Expedition 9 crew in July the previous year. Communications during the EVA were hampered because ground stations in the Ukraine, now an independent country following the breakup of the USSR, suspended service.

 

Fourth EVA for Solovyov; second for Avdeyev.

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9 SEPTEMBER

 

1994 Yuri Malenchenko & Talgat Musabeyev (Mir Expedition 16)

 

Duration 5 hr 4 min

 

Four and a half years before the infamous collision of Progress M-34 which put the Spektr module permanently out of action, there had been a much more minor incident when Soyuz TM-17 bumped into the station during a photography attempt as the cosmonauts were preparing to return to Earth. Because this happened at very low speed it was not considered serious. Then in August 1994 Progress M-24 hit the station during the second docking attempt: though this was also not seen as a major problem, the cosmonauts were instructed to make a visual inspection of both areas. They found that a thermal insulation blanket was missing at the point where Kristall joined the base block, where the Soyuz Orbital Module had struck two glancing blows, as well as some scratches on one of the remaining blankets. There was no sign of any damage where the Progress had struck: in hindsight, the Russians had got away with it twice but it would certainly be a case of third time unlucky.

 

First EVA for both cosmonauts.

 

 

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11 SEPTEMBER

 

1992 Anatoli Solovyov & Sergei Avdeyev (Mir Expedition 12)

 

Duration 5 hr 44 min

 

The cosmonauts completed the installation of the VDU thruster package to the Sofora truss, hooking up the electrical connections. The original schedule had allowed four EVAs to carry out this work but it had been achieved in just three.

 

Fifth EVA for Solovyov; third for Avdeyev.

 

 


2000 Ed Lu & Yuri Malenchenko (STS-106)

 

Duration 6 hr 14 min

 

With Atlantis docked to the as-yet unoccupied ISS, Lu and Malenchenko hooked up nine power cables between the Zvezda and Zarya modules and installed a 2m-long magnetometer, in preparation for the arrival of the first expedition less than two months later. At one point they were more than thirty metres above the cargo bay, the furthest that any tethered astronaut had ventured outside the Shuttle. This EVA had originally been scheduled for STS-101, but delays in launching Zvezda meant that its flight objectives were split in two, so Lu and Malenchenko were transferred to the later mission.

 

Lu's only EVA; Malenchenko's third.

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12 SEPTEMBER

 

2006 Joseph Tanner & Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper (STS-115/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 26 min

 

The astronauts slept in the Quest airlock wearing oxygen masks the night before the EVA, to purge nitrogen from their bloodstreams and shorten the time needed to prepare the following day. Their objective was to install the P3/P4 Truss, which was moved into position by the station's manipulator arm. The astronauts then hooked up power and data cables then released the launch restraints: during this procedure a bolt, spring and washer assembly drifted away and was lost. With the EVA running ahead of schedule, they carried out several tasks planned for the following day, including starting to set up the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint.

 

Tanner's sixth EVA; Stefanyshyn-Piper's first.

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13 SEPTEMBER

 

1966 Dick Gordon (Gemini XI)

 

Duration 38 min

 

This EVA had a lengthy task list but experienced problems right from the start. After docking with the Agena target, Gordon was meant to connect the two vehicles with a 30m tether for an artificial gravity experiment, then retrieve a nuclear emulsion package from Gemini's Adapter Section, evaluate a 'golden slipper' foot restraint, a hand-held manoeuvring unit and a torqueless power tool. However advance planning was poor: preparations and checks began as scheduled four hours before the EVA began, but these were completed in just fifty minutes, meaning that Gordon had a lengthy wait before he could open the hatch. Because his suit cooling system was only designed for vacuum operation he became uncomfortably warm in the pressurised cabin and then worked up a sweat trying to attach his helmet visor. Finally the hatch was opened and Gordon tried to leap across to Agena, but missed and ended up swinging on his 10m umbilical tether. Pete Conrad had to haul him back for a second try. This time Gordon managed to grasp the handrails on Agena's docking collar but found he needed both hands to attach the tether. It had been planned that he would straddle Gemini's nose and had practiced this in the zero-gee training aircraft but in the vacuum of space his suit's internal pressure forced his legs together, meaning he could not maintain a grip. At this stage in the space programme, neutral buoyancy simulation was not yet considered important, so Gordon had spent little time training underwater and found the real thing much harder than he had anticipated. Finally, he managed to secure the tether and returned to the cockpit area to rest, but Conrad decided enough was enough and ordered him back inside.

 

Gordon's first EVA.

 

 


1994 Yuri Malenchenko & Talgat Musabayev (Mir Expedition 16)

 

Duration 6 hr 1 min

 

The cosmonauts inspected the solar arrays on the Kristall module, which were scheduled to be transferred to Kvant. They also checked the mounting brackets where the arrays would be mounted: all of this was to ensure there would be enough clearance for the arrival of the US Space Shuttle when it made its historic first docking the following year. In addition, the cosmonauts retrieved space exposure cassettes and mounted a new amateur radio antenna, which was tested by the expedition's third cosmonaut Valeri Polyakhov from inside Mir before they returned inside.

 

Second EVA for both cosmonauts.

 

 


2006 Daniel Burbank & Steven MacLean (STS-115/ISS)

 

Duration 7 hr 11 min

 

The primary task was to unlock the Solar Array Rotation Joint, and while this was achieved the spacewalkers experienced numerous minor problems: a broken socket tool, a jammed bolt that required both men to release it, and another bolt that came loose from the mechanism designed to hold it captive. In addition, one of the helmet cameras malfunctioned. However, none of these prevented the astronauts completing several 'get ahead' tasks scheduled for a future EVA.

 

First and only EVA for both astronauts.

 

 

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14 SEPTEMBER

 

1966 Dick Gordon [SEVA] (Gemini XI)

 

Duration 2 hr 08 min

 

Gordon opened his hatch just before orbital sunset then stood up in his seat and used an ultraviolet astronomical camera to shoot pictures of Orion and Antares. He was held in place by a short tether, allowing him to use both hands. When the spacecraft passed into daylight he carried out general photography including Houston and Florida. There were no targets during the transatlantic crossing, and both astronauts were so relaxed that they fell asleep. Gordon performed more astronomical photography on the night side before closing the hatch.

 

Gordon's second and last EVA; his total is 2 hr 41 min.

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15 SEPTEMBER

 

1992 Anatoli Solovyov & Sergei Avdeyev (Mir Expedition 12)

 

Duration 3 hr 33 min

 

The cosmonauts transferred the Kurs rendezvous and docking antenna to the Kristall module, ready for the arrival of Soyuz TM-16, which would test the new androgynous docking system to be used when the Space Shuttle began its visits. This system was different from the one used on Apollo-Soyuz but operated on the same principle, doing away with the probe-and-drogue mechanism so that in theory any spacecraft could dock with any other. The cosmonauts also recovered an experimental solar panel which had been exposed to the space environment for four years, as well as micrometeorite panels and samples of construction material which had been on Kvant 2 for a rather shorter period.

 

Sixth EVA for Solovyov; fourth for Avdeyev.

 

 


1998 Gennady Padalka & Sergei Avdeyev [IVA] (Mir Expedition 26)

 

Duration 30 min

 

The cosmonauts performed another Intravehicular Activity inside the damaged Spektr module, reconnecting the orientation cable for the solar array and hooking up connectors to the array's servomotors.

 

First spacewalk for Padalka; seventh for Avdeyev

 

 


2006 Joseph Tanner & Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper (STS-115/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 42 min

 

The astronauts activated the solar arrays' cooling radiator for the first time and replaced an S-band radio antenna that provided backup comms between the ISS and Mission Control. They also installed protective insulation around another communications device and used an infrared camera to photograph the Orbiter's wings, both tasks scheduled for a future EVA.

 

Seventh and last EVA for Tanner: his career total amounts to 46 hr 29 min. Second EVA for Stefanyshyn-Piper.

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16 SEPTEMBER

 

1993 Vasili Tsibliyev & Aleksandr Serebrov (Mir Expedition 14)

 

Duration 4 hr 18 min

 

The cosmonauts transferred equipment between the Kvant 2 and Kvant modules using the Strela crane, then installed a platform on the Sofora boom. Finally, they mounted a container holding the Rapana truss to its attachment site and connected it to Mir's electrical system.

 

First EVA for Tsibliyev; sixth for Serebrov.

 

 

 

1993 Carl Walz & James Newman (STS-51)

 

Duration 7 hr 5 min

 

The Tsibliyev-Serebrov EVA was still in progress when Walz and Newman began theirs, so this set a new record for the number of people outside their spacecraft at the same time. The US astronauts' task was to evaluate tools and techniques that would be used in the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission planned for later in the year. Before this, however, Walz checked for any damage caused when two explosive restraint cords, which had retained the Shuttle's satellite payload in place, had detonated simultaneously. He found damage to the satellite's support ring and tears in the thermal insulation blanket on the rear cargo bay bulkhead, but nothing to cause any concern. Walz opted not to handle the debris to avoid the risk of cutting his gloves. The astronauts then began the tool evaluation, testing tethers for high and low torque work and checking out foot restraints. Throughout all of this they reported back on the differences between training in the WETF tank and actual on-orbit work: overall, the water experience was more difficult than the EVA. The astronauts were running ahead of schedule until they began closeout, when a stuck toolbox lid meant the EVA lasted forty-five minutes longer than planned.

 

First EVA for both astronauts.

 

 

 

1994 Mark Lee & Carl Meade (STS-64)

 

Duration 6 hr 51 min

 

In the first untethered EVAs since the MMU flights ten years earlier, the astronauts tested a device which could be used if a spacewalker became detached from the spacecraft structure. Known as SAFER (for Simplified Aid For EVA Rescue), it weighed just 38kg, more than 114kg lighter than the MMU, and was worn under the PLSS backpack so could be part of the standard EVA equipment. In addition, there were no bulky hand controller arms that would interfere with construction work: the unit was operated with a small box that for these tests was secured to the astronaut's chest but in the production version would swing out when a lanyard was pulled. SAFER has 24 fixed-position thrusters, with four compressed nitrogen tanks holding 60 seconds' worth of nitrogen if the device is used for translation, or 120 seconds for rotation and stabilisation. In practice, the astronauts found that the device actually used less propellant than predicted. After completing the familiarisation and engineering data portions of the test, Lee and Meade took turns standing in a foot restraint on the manipulator arm and tumbling the other. The tumbled astronaut activated SAFER’s automatic attitude hold system, stabilised, then manoeuvred toward the arm, which was pulled away to simulate a separation rate of 0.06 metres per second. Meade rolled Lee at 2 rpm - faster than planned, but SAFER stabilised him without difficulty. Finally, the astronauts took turns flying SAFER precisely along the arm to a point near the aft flight deck windows. During the tests the astronauts replenished SAFER’s propellant supply from the nitrogen recharge unit at the front of Discovery’s payload bay seven times. The astronauts also evaluated an electronic cuff checklist, planned as a replacement for paper lists, but this was not a success.

 

First EVA for Lee; first and only one for Meade.

 

 


1995 James Voss & Michael Gernhardt (STS-69)

 

Duration 6 hr 46 min

 

The astronauts rehearsed techniques that would come to be used in the assembly of the International Space Station: removing thermal blankets and debris shields from a work panel on the starboard side of the cargo bay, testing power tools on fasteners and manipulating equipment boxes, electrical conduits and an antenna boom. The EVA was also designed to test suit improvements to keep the astronauts warm, including heaters in the glove fingertips: when not working on the panel, each astronaut was 'cold soaked' 9m above the cargo bay for 45 minutes while carrying out repetitive tool-handling tasks, but despite this they reported remaining comfortable throughout.

 

First EVA for each astronaut.

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20 SEPTEMBER

 

1993 Vasili Tsibliyev & Aleksandr Serebrov (Mir Expedition 14)

 

Duration 3 hr 13 min

 

The cosmonauts continued the assembly of the Rapana truss, a cylindrical framework with memory alloy joints similar to those on the Sofora boom. As these were heated, they expanded and caused the truss to unfold from its container. It took just three minutes for it to reach a length of 5m. The cosmonauts installed space exposure samples on the truss before returning to the airlock.

 

Second EVA for Tsibliyev; the seventh for Serebrov

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22 SEPTEMBER

 

1973 Al Bean & Owen Garriott (Skylab 3)

 

Duration 2 hr 45 min

 

Three days before their mission came to an end, Bean and Garriott retrieved the exposed film cassettes from the ATM and replaced them with new ones for use by the Workshop's next occupants. They also recovered exposed collectors and sample experiments, including a section of the same material used in the parasol shield. A leak in the facility which provided water to the spacesuits' cooling system, so the astronauts had to rely on air cooling, but this was adequate for the undemanding tasks they had to carry out. Garriott reported becoming slightly warm as the EVA progressed, while Bean's hands were warm throughout, but the days of dangerous overheating were long gone.

 

Third and last EVA for Bean, though his first in microgravity (his previous two were on the lunar surface), bringing his career total to 10 hr 30 min. Third and last also for Garriott: his total is 13 hr 46 min.

 

 

 

 

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