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1 DECEMBER

 

1985 Jerry Ross & Sherwood Spring (STS-61B)

 

Duration 6 hr 42 min

 

The astronauts continued their assessment of on-orbit construction techniques by once again working on the ACCESS and EASE structures. The ACCESS beam was assembled from the bottom up, the individual parts being fitted together in a jig mounted in the cargo bay, then slid upwards to make room for the next section. After nine segments had been put together this way, Ross tried a different approach by stepping into the manipulator arm's foot restraint before Mary Cleave lifted him to the top of the tower, where he assembled the tenth unit at the far end. Ross then attached a tether to the side of the tower, simulating the installation of a power cable. Next, Spring released the bottom of the tower so that Ross could test handling the structure, assessing an astronaut's ability to assemble a beam in one place then install it in another. Ross replaced the tower in the assembly jig to show that this was possible. The astronauts then switched places, Spring changing one of the beams to simulate structural repair. ACCESS was then dismantled and the astronauts put together the EASE pyramid, which was also detached from its mounting to demonstrate handling procedures with large components. Overall, it was determined that ACCESS worked well, while the EASE structure, using free-floating techniques, proved more difficult. The astronauts reported that the hardest part of the procedure was in steadying their own bodies while trying to manoeuvre the components. They did, however, judge that carrying out a six-hour EVA every second day would not be too demanding.

 

Second EVA for both astronauts, but Spring's last: his total for the mission amounts to 12 hr 14 min.

 

 

 

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2 DECEMBER

 

1996 Valeri Korzun & Aleksandr Kaleri (Mir Expedition 22)

 

Duration 5 hr 57 min

 

The cosmonauts installed a 23-metre electrical cable to the surface-mounted solar panels on Kvant, linking then to a socket that had previously drawn power from the array on top of the Mir base block. This was no longer used because it was shadowed by the Kvant 2 module. The pair then moved the Rapana girder to the top of the new Strombus beam.

 

First EVA for Korzun; the second for Kaleri.

 

 


2019 Luca Parmitano & Andrew Morgan (ISS Expedition 61)

 

Duration 6 hr 2 min

 

The astronauts continued repair work on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, completing the installation of its new cooling system. This involved connecting new lines to the eight stainless steel tubes they had cut through on the previous EVA using a technique called swaging: fitting the parts loosely together then compressing the larger pipe to form a tight bond. Once all the new pipes had been connected and Mission Control confirmed that everything was working properly, the astronauts fitted a new thermal blanket to protect the joints.

 

Parmitano's fifth EVA; Morgan's sixth.

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3 DECEMBER

 

1997 Winston Scott & Takao Doi (STS-87)

 

Duration 4 hr 59 min

 

The astronauts continued their tests of tools and equipment to be used in the construction of the ISS, which they had begun on the previous unscheduled EVA. They also manually deployed a football-sized free-flying spacecraft called the AERCam Sprint, which carried two television cameras and twelve small nitrogen gas thrusters, which could be used as an extra set of 'eyes' for future EVAs. After a thirty-minute free flight, the astronauts manually retrieved it and took it back into the Orbiter's airlock.

 

Third and last EVA for Scott: his career total is 19 hr 23 min. Second and last for Doi: his is 12 hr 42 min.

 

 


2000 Joseph Tanner & Carlos Noriega (STS-97/ISS)

 

Duration 7 hr 33 min

 

This was the first of three EVAs to install the P6 Truss to its temporary location on top of the Z1. Aboard Endeavour, Marc Garneau used the Orbiter's manipulator arm to lift the truss from the cargo bay and move it into position so that the EVA astronauts could bolt it in place. Once it was secure, Michael Bloomfield  used the arm to carry Noriega around to a connection panel where he hooked up nine power and data cables, while Tanner prepared the solar arrays for deployment. The pins holding their storage boxes closed should have been released by remote command but when Brent Jett tried this, nothing happened. Tanner and Noriega stood by in case they needed to release the pins manually, but the second attempt was successful and the starboard solar array was deployed. However because of the problems, Mission Control decided to postpone the deployment of the port array until the next EVA.

 

Third EVA for Tanner; Noriega's first.

 

 


2001 Vladimir Dezhurov & Mikhail Tyurin (ISS Expedition 3)

 

Duration 2 hr 46 min

 

On 28 November, the Progress M1-7 freighter had docked with the ISS but was unable to achieve an airtight seal due to debris around the Zvezda port. This unscheduled EVA was to enable the cosmonauts to remove the obstruction, which turned out to be a rubberised seal from the previous cargo ferry. They took pictures of the seal before removing it so that the docking could be completed.

 

Ninth and last EVA for Dezhurov: his career total is 37 hr 33 min. Third EVA for Tyurin.

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5 DECEMBER

 

1993 Jeffrey Hoffman & Story Musgrave (STS-61)

 

Duration 7 hr 54 min

 

STS-61 was the first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, which due to an error in manufacturing the main mirror had been unable to focus properly since its launch in April 1990. In the time since then, scientists had come up with a solution, the responsibility of which lay with the STS-61 crew. Five lengthy spacewalks were planned, leading to NASA selecting astronauts with previous EVA experience to carry them out. Hubble had been designed for on-orbit servicing, though nobody had anticipated anything of this nature so early in its operational life. On this first EVA the astronauts installed a cover on a low-gain antenna to prevent accidental damage, then replaced two Rate Sensing Unit gyroscopes and two Electronics Control Units, as well as four fuse plugs. Some time was saved when it was discovered that Musgrave was short enough to slip under the telescope's sunshade to reach the gyroscopes, avoiding the need to remove it. This turned out to be fortunate, because when the time came to close the compartment cover, the astronauts found that it had warped due to temperature fluctuations during the telescope's time in space. They were eventually able to force it shut, but would not have had time to do this if they had had to remove the sunshade. The EVA was closed out by setting up the cargo bay for the next day's activities.

 

Second EVA for both astronauts.

 

 


2000 Joseph Tanner & Carlos Noriega (STS-97/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 37 min

 

The astronauts began by checking the newly-deployed solar array to better understand the condition of its tensioning system. They then hooked up power and data cables and connected ammonia coolant lines, then moved an S-band antenna to the top of the array. They also manually released the restraints holding a radiator, though the actual deployment of this did not take place until they had returned inside.

 

Fourth EVA for Tanner; the second for Noriega.

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6 DECEMBER

 

1993 Kathy Thornton & Thomas Akers (STS-61)

 

Duration 6 hr 36 min

 

As well as restoring the Hubble to its full operating capability, replacement of its solar arrays was a high priority. This had been planned even before the telescope was launched, as it was assumed the original panels would degrade in orbit, but it became even more important when it was found that thermal expansion and contraction, especially when Hubble passed from night into day, was causing it to judder. The replacement arrays were designed to eliminate this problem. After the first EVA, Mission Control tried to close the arrays but due to a bent frame the starboard panel would only close by about thirty percent. It was decided not to try to force it any further in case the frame snapped and formed a dangerous sharp edge, and the EVA proceeded. A problem with Thornton's radio meant she was unable to hear either Houston or Endeavour; fortunately, Akers was able to act as a relay. The problem cleared midway through the EVA, but recurred towards its end. This did not prevent the astronauts carrying out the array replacement: the jammed starboard panel was detached and jettisoned before the new one was installed in its place. Then the port array was removed and stowed in the cargo bay for return to Earth and the replacement fitted. Both of the new panels were left in the rolled-up position for the time being. The final task of the EVA was to install a foot restraint for use the following day.

 

Second EVA for Thornton; third for Akers.

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7 DECEMBER

 

1993 Jeffrey Hoffman & Story Musgrave (STS-61)

 

Duration 6 hr 47 min

 

The first task was to replace Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera with an upgraded version, built from the backup instrument after the problem with the telescope's optics had been discovered. When this had been achieved, Hubble was tipped over so that the main aperture door was within reach, enabling the astronauts to replace two of the four MSS magnetometers at the top end of the telescope tube. They found that the MSS covers were disintegrating, raising concern that the foam fragments might infiltrate the telescope's optical systems. The EVA ended with the installation of four fuse plugs and some light tasks scheduled for the next day's activities.

 

Third EVA for both astronauts.

 

 


1998 Jerry Ross & James Newman (STS-88)

 

Duration 7 hr 21 min

 

STS-88 was the first ISS assembly mission: the Zarya module, also known as the Functional Cargo Block, had been launched from Baikonur on 20 November, and Endeavour was carrying the station's second component, the Unity node. On the fourth day of the mission, Zarya was captured by the manipulator arm and brought down to connect to Unity, still in the cargo bay and attached to the Orbiter's docking port. This gave the station a combined length of 23 metres. On Day Five, Ross and Newman carried out their EVA to connect up around forty power and data cables and mount thermal covers over the joints. Unity was then activated, drawing power from Zarya's solar panels.

 

Fifth EVA for Ross; the second for Newman.

 

 


2000 Joseph Tanner & Carlos Noriega (STS-97/ISS)

 

Duration 5 hr 10 min

 

The EVA began with checks on the rigidity and tension of the new solar array, which was first retracted by about one metre so that Noriega, at the top of the P6 Truss, could pull the slack cables through their spring-loaded reels. Tanner then turned each of the reels and let them unwind, enabling Noriega to guide the cables onto the pulley grooves to ensure that everything was positioned properly. The astronauts then turned to their scheduled tasks by installing a camera cable on Unity and a probe antenna on top of the truss to measure the electrical potential of plasma around the station. They still had sufficient time to carry out tasks intended for a future EVA, installing a sensor on the radiator, fitting some small antennas and making a photographic survey of the station.

 

Fifth EVA for Tanner; third and last for Noriega: his career total is 19 hr 20 min.

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8 DECEMBER

 

1993 Kathy Thornton & Thomas Akers (STS-61)

 

Duration 6 hr 50 min

 

Out of the five EVAs planned for the Hubble Maintenance Mission, this was the most crucial: the installation of the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) system, which would bring the instrument back to its original planned capability. This would be fitted in the bay currently occupied by the High Speed Photometer, which would have to be sacrificed for the greater good. The HSP was powered down and the equipment bay doors opened, deliberately timed to take place on the night side to minimize thermal changes and the possible outgassing of components that might contaminate the optics. After partially opening the doors, the astronauts tried closing them again, finding the same difficulties as experienced on previous EVAs. Four power and data lines were then disconnected from the HSP, which was removed from its bay then reinserted as practice for the installation of COSTAR. The unit was then finally removed and parked on the side of the Orbiter's cargo bay and COSTAR slid into place. The doors were closed and the astronauts began upgrading Hubble's computer by attaching an electronics package containing additional memory and a new coprocessor.

 

Third and last EVA for Thornton, bringing her career total to 21 hr 11 min. Fourth and last for Akers: his total is 29 hr 40 min.

 

 


1995 Sergei Avdeyev & Yuri Gidzenko [IVA] (Mir Expedition 20)

 

Duration 29 min

 

This brief IVA saw the cosmonauts sealing off Mir's five-way docking compartment and transferring the drogue from the -Z to +Z port, ready for the arrival of the Priroda module. As usual for this type of activity, Mir's third occupant, Thomas Reiter, was sealed off in the Soyuz TM-22 descent module so that the cosmonauts would have an escape route in the event of them being unable to re-enter the main station.

 

Sixth EVA for Avdeyev; Gidzenko's first.

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9 DECEMBER

 

1988 Aleksandr Volkov & Jean-Loup Chrétien (Mir Expedition 3)

 

Duration 5 hr 57 min

 

Frenchman Chrétien became the first astronaut outwith the Soviet Union and the United States to perform an EVA. His first task was to extend handrails recessed in Mir's hull, then attach a space exposure rack and connect it to the station's power supply. He experienced some minor difficulty in removing the lids from its sample containers, but not enough to cause a significant delay in the schedule. He and Volkov then began erecting a French-build antenna known as ERA, but the 3.6m-diameter hexagonal dish would not unfold on command. The cosmonauts shook the structure, to no avail, and Mission Control rejected Volkov's offer to kick it. Mir then passed out of radio range and when contact was reacquired the cosmonauts reported that the dish had deployed. It later turned out that Volkov had indeed kicked it when nobody was looking!

 

First EVA for Volkov; the only one for Chrétien.

 

 


1993 Jeffrey Hoffman & Story Musgrave (STS-61)

 

Duration 7 hr 21 min

 

The astronauts replaced the electronics driving Hubble's solar arrays then mounted protective covers on the magnetometers to prevent foam insulation getting into the optical systems. These covers had been fabricated aboard the Orbiter when the problem was discovered. Mission Control then commanded the new solar arrays to unroll, though the astronauts had to provide manual assistance. And with that the Hubble repairs were complete, bringing the telescope up to, and in fact beyond, its original planned capabilities. The five EVAs had lasted a total of 35 hr 28 min, a record for a single mission.

 

Fourth and last EVA for both astronauts. Hoffman's career total amounts to 25 hr 8 min; Musgrave's, to 26 hr 19 min.

 

 

 
1996 Valeri Korzun & Aleksandr Kaleri (Mir Expedition 22)

 

Duration 6 hr 36 min

 

The cosmonauts installed a new Kurs antenna on the station's Docking Module, but the task took longer than anticipated as they had trouble handling cumbersome cable bundles. At the end of the EVA they reattached a cable to an amateur radio antenna which had been accidentally knocked loose during their previous spacewalk.

 

Second EVA for both cosmonauts.

 

 


1998 Jerry Ross & James Newman (STS-88)

 

Duration 7 hr 2 min

 

The astronauts attached two S-band antennas to the Unity module, which would allow Mission Control to monitor the station's systems once the corresponding avionics gear was installed inside. They also removed launch restraints from Unity's Common Berthing Mechanisms, where future modules would be attached as the ISS grew. They then mounted EVA handrails to Zarya's exterior and, as time remained, Newman used a 3m grappling hook to unfurl one of the base block's jammed solar panels.

 

Sixth EVA for Ross; Newman's third.

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10 DECEMBER

 

2001 Linda Godwin & Daniel Tani (STS-108/ISS)

 

Duration 4 hr 12 min

 

The astronauts climbed to the P6 Truss and placed insulation blankets over the Beta Gimbal Assemblies, which rotate the solar arrays so they can track the Sun. Once this job was complete, they attempted to secure one of the four struts which attach the starboard array to the station, but were unable to close its latch. On the way back to Endeavour, they stopped at a stowage bin and retrieved an antenna cover which had been removed on a previous flight, and returned it to the Orbiter to be taken back to Earth. Finally, they carried out some preparatory work for the arrival of the S0 Truss the following year.

 

Second and last EVA for Godwin: her career total is 10 hr 41 min. Tani's first EVA.

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11 DECEMBER

 

1972 Eugene Cernan & Jack Schmitt [LSEVA] (Apollo 17)

 

Duration 7 hr 12 min

 

There was no TV coverage of Cernan's step onto the Moon: to save weight, the camera equipment had been omitted. LMP Schmitt was a career geologist who had trained as an astronaut, as opposed to the other way round: he had originally been assigned to Apollo 18 but when budget cuts brought about the cancellation of that mission he replaced Joe Engle on the last lunar flight so that a scientist could go to the Moon. The first task was to set up the Lunar Rover: while testing it out, Cernan accidentally broke one of the mudguards, but was able to fix it with tape. The ALSEP instrument package was deployed, then Cernan drilled two holes for the heat-flow experiment: this was the last chance to get this right, as Scott on Apollo 15 had been unable to extract the core and then Young on 16 broke the cable by accidentally catching his foot in it. This time, the core stuck again, but Schmitt managed to remove it by putting his full weight on the handle, which caused him to fall over. This was not the only instance of the astronauts treating their EVA suits roughly, but experience on the previous flights had shown there was little risk of damage. They then set off on the LRV but on the way to the first survey point the damaged mudguard fell off, resulting in the astronauts being showered with dust as they drove along. Cernan drove while Schmitt collected samples using a long-handled scoop that allowed him to pick them up without leaving his seat. The astronauts also planted small explosive charges which were set off after they had left the scene: the detonations were recorded by the instruments in the ALSEP.

 

Second EVA for Cernan; Schmitt's first.

 

 


2018 Oleg Kononenko & Sergei Prokopyev (ISS Expedition 57)

 

Duration 7 hr 45 min

 

The cosmonauts examined the hull of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, investigating a small hole which had been detected in the Orbital Module back in August. This had been plugged with epoxy sealant but the cause remained a mystery: Prokopyev was quoted as saying that the hole was made from the inside and at one stage it was even speculated that one of the American crew members was responsible. Now, the cosmonauts cut away the thermal blankets and retrieved samples of residue to be used in the investigation: as the hole was in the Orbital Module, which would be discarded after retrofire, it would not be available for analysis; equally, however, it meant that the crew would be in no danger during re-entry.

 

Fourth EVA for Kononenko; second and last (to date) for Prokopyev: his total comes to 15 hr 31 min.

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12 DECEMBER

 

1972 Eugene Cernan & Jack Schmitt [LSEVA] (Apollo 17)

 

Duration 7 hr 37 min

 

In scenes reminiscent of the carbon dioxide scrubber repair on Apollo 13, John Young developed a technique for replacing the broken LRV mudguard with folded maps and clamps, then radioed up instructions so that the astronauts could replicate the build. This prevented them being showered with lunar dust as they drove along. On this second traverse they skirted Camelot and Lara craters, and spent an hour sampling landslide material at Nansen. Then at Shorty crater came the big discovery as Schmitt kicked up orange soil, which seemed at the time to prove its suspected volcanic origin. (It was later determined that the soil was composed of volcanic glass blasted to the surface when Shorty was formed around a million years ago, and not a sign of relatively recent volcanic activity as hoped.) During the EVA, the longest of the Apollo programme, the astronauts drove the LRV for 19km.

 

Third EVA for Cernan; the second for Schmitt.

 

 


1998 Jerry Ross & James Newman (STS-88)

 

Duration 6 hr 59 min

 

The astronauts checked an insulation cover on cables linking the Unity and Zarya modules and mounted handrails on the base block for use in future EVAs. A large bag containing EVA tools such as wrenches and ratchets was fitted to the station's exterior. Both men then tested their SAFER backpacks and conducted a thorough photographic survey of the station.

 

Seventh EVA for Ross; Newman's fourth.

 

 


2006 Robert Curbeam & Christer Fuglesang (STS-116/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 36 min

 

STS-116's primary objective was to install the P5 Truss. The day before the EVA, the new component had been lifted out of the cargo bay and transferred from the Shuttle's manipulator arm to that of the station itself, then moved into position. Now, Curbeam and Fuglesang ensured it was lined up properly and bolted it in place, then connected up the power cables. They then replaced a faulty camera before removing the launch restraints on the new truss, as well as opening a latch on the far end ready for the transfer of the P6 Truss from its temporary location on top of the Z1 on Unity.

 

Fourth EVA for Curbeam; Fuglesang's first.

 

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13 DECEMBER

 

1972 Eugene Cernan & Jack Schmitt [LSEVA] (Apollo 17)

 

Duration 7 hr 16 min

 

The astronauts' first task was to retrieve the cosmic ray detector because a low-level solar flare had been predicted: not powerful enough to put them in any danger but sufficient to overwhelm the instrument. They then began their traverse to North Massif, where they examined a huge boulder dubbed 'Tracy's Rock' after Cernan's daughter, then nine years old. Cernan collected samples of the dust which covered it, but only after he had returned to Earth did he begin to wish that he had written her name. In 1984 Apollo 12 LMP Al Bean, by then a professional space artist, painted a picture of the scene and improved on reality by adding Tracy's name--as he put it, "I have employed artistic license to save him the long trip back to Station Six, not to mention the monumental savings to all us taxpayers." The astronauts also visited the Sculptured Hills and Van Serg Crater before arriving back at the LM. Cernan parked the Rover a safe distance from Challenger so that it could film their lift-off, and the astronauts unveiled a plaque on the descent stage reading HERE MAN COMPLETED HIS FIRST EXPLORATION OF THE MOON, DECEMBER 1972 A.D. MAY THE SPIRIT OF PEACE IN WHICH WE CAME BE REFLECTED IN THE LIVES OF ALL MANKIND. Schmitt then climbed the ladder, leaving Cernan alone on the lunar surface: the last man to stand there, even almost fifty years later. He gave a final speech before following his colleague into the LM cabin: "Bob [CAPCOM Robert Parker], this is Gene, and I'm on the surface; and, as I take man's last step from the surface, back home for some time to come - but we believe not too long into the future - I'd like to just (say) what I believe history will record. That America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus- Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. 'Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.'"

 

Cernan's fourth and last EVA: his career total is 24 hr 12 min. Schmitt's third EVA.

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14 DECEMBER

 

2006 Robert Curbeam & Christer Fuglesang (STS-116/ISS)

 

Duration 5 hr

 

The astronauts carried out a major reconfiguration of the ISS's electrical wiring, bringing into service the new solar arrays on the P3/P4 Truss. In preparation for this, several of the station's less critical systems had to be shut down, including communications gear, some lights, ventilation fans and backup computers. When the work was complete, the ISS was running on power generated by the P4 array. The task had been carried out in less time than anticipated, so the astronauts were able to reposition the two CETA carts on the S0 Truss, mount toolbags for future spacewalks and install a thermal cover on the manipulator arm.

 

Fifth EVA for Curbeam; the second for Fuglesang.

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16 DECEMBER

 

2006 Robert Curbeam & Sunita Williams (STS-116/ISS)

 

Duration 7 hr 31 min

 

Fuglesang took time off while Sunita Williams accompanied Curbeam to continue the rewiring of the new truss segment. This would eventually make it possible to add European and Japanese modules to the station. They also installed a grapple fixture on the manipulator arm and positioned bundles of debris shields that would be fixed to Zvezda. The final task was to inspect the P6 solar array, which had failed to retract properly: it was thought that the panels might be caught on guide wires. The astronauts examined the array and tried to clear away any obstructions, eventually shaking it while the station crew attempted to retract it remotely, one bay at a time. The combined efforts allowed the array to reach a 65% retraction.

 

Sixth EVA for Curbeam; the first for Williams.

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17 DECEMBER

 

1972 Ron Evans [CLEVA] & Jack Schmitt [SEVA] (Apollo 17 CSM)

 

Duration 1 hr 7 min

 

As Apollo 17 headed home from the Moon, Command Module Pilot Ron Evans got his turn in the spotlight with the now-familiar EVA to retrieve film cassettes from the instrument bay mounted in the Service Module, passing them to Jack Schmitt who was standing up in the CM hatch. He made three trips to the SIMBAY, working his way back along the spacecraft using handrails. Once the work was done, Evans floated free for a short time on the end of his 7.7m tether. This was the last EVA to date to be conducted beyond Earth orbit.

 

Evans' only EVA; fourth and last for Schmitt: his career total amounts to 23 hr 12 min.

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18 DECEMBER

 

2006 Robert Curbeam & Christer Fuglesang (STS-116/ISS)

 

Duration 6 hr 38 min

 

The purpose of this unplanned EVA was to sort out the problem with the solar array, which had stuck while being retracted. After being moved into position by the station's manipulator arm, the astronauts manually adjusted the tensioning wires that seemed to be holding the array in its partially-open position. Eventually they were able to collapse it completely into its storage box. They then secured the insulation blanket they had placed on the manipulator arm four days earlier. With this EVA, Curbeam became the first astronaut to carry out four full EVAs on a single mission.

 

Curbeam's seventh and last EVA: his career total is 45 hr 34 min. Third EVA for Fuglesang.

 

 


2007 Peggy Whitson & Daniel Tani (ISS Expedition 16)

 

Duration 6 hr 56 min

 

The EVA began with the inspection of a gimbal assembly which had lost primary power after three of its circuit breakers tripped. There was no obvious sign of damage so the astronauts disconnected two cables to enable ground tests. The astronauts then transferred to the Solar Array Rotary Joint to remove two drive lock assembly covers and check the bearings beneath them. Further checks beneath other covers revealed debris and contamination so photographs were taken and samples collected for further analysis. Finally, they retrieved a Trundle Bearing Assembly and took it inside the station for assessment.

 

Fifth EVA for both astronauts: Whitson is the first woman to make so many.

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19 DECEMBER

 

1977 Georgi Grechko & Yuri Romanenko [SEVA] (Salyut 6 Expedition 1)

 

Duration 1 hr 28 min

 

This was the first Soviet EVA since 1969 (and only their third overall) and was originally intended as a test of the new Orlan-D spacesuit. This was based on the suit designed for use on the lunar surface in the cancelled Moon-landing programme, with its own self-contained life-support system eliminating the need for umbilical hoses. While the lunar version had been designed for a single use, the D-type could be worn by several cosmonauts on successive EVAs over a period of about two years. Initially, it had been intended to test the suit on an IVA inside Salyut's forward compartment but because Soyuz 25 had been unable to achieve a hard dock it was deemed necessary to inspect the front port for possible damage. (Grechko and Romanenko, aboard Soyuz 26, had used the rear port when they arrived.) Thus Grechko opened the hatch and pulled himself halfway out so he could check the docking mechanism, to which he was able to give a clean bill of health. For many years a story circulated that Romanenko, in his eagerness to see outside, nearly drifted free of the station without his safety tether being attached, and only quick action by Grechko prevented him being lost. Both cosmonauts firmly denied this, assigning the story to the misunderstanding of a bad joke. They pointed out that even though Romanenko's safety tether was not connected, he was still secured to the station by his communications line.

 

First EVA for both cosmonauts; the only one of Grechko's career.

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21 DECEMBER

 

2013 Rick Mastracchio & Michael Hopkins (ISS Expedition 38)

 

Duration 5 hr 28 min

 

This was the first of two EVAs to replace a failed pump module on the starboard truss cooling system. The astronauts began by disconnecting ammonia fluid lines, then detached the pump itself and stowed it on a pallet known as the Payload Orbital Replacement Unit Accommodation. At the end of the EVA, as the airlock was being repressurised, a question arose as to whether water was entering the sublimator of Mastracchio's spacesuit. The decision was taken that he would wear the spare suit on the next EVA and this was delayed by a day so the suit could be prepared.

 

Seventh EVA for Mastracchio; the first for Hopkins.

 

 


2015 Scott Kelly & Tim Kopra (ISS Expedition 46)

 

Duration 3 hr 16 min

 

The astronauts released the parking brakes on the mobile transporter cart so that it could be latched in place ready for the arrival of the latest Progress freighter. Kelly then rerouted two more cables to support future commercial crew vehicles, while Kopra installed an Ethernet cable that was to connect to a Russian laboratory module, and retrieved tools from an external toolbox.

 

Third and last EVA for Kelly: his career total is 18 hr 20 min. Second EVA for Kopra.

 

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22 DECEMBER

 

1999 Steven Smith & John Grunsfeld (STS-103)

 

Duration 8 hr 15 min

 

This was the third Hubble servicing mission and the first of three EVAs to be carried out on consecutive days to upgrade the telescope. On this occasion the astronauts replaced three Rate Sensor Units, each of which contained two gyroscopes, then purged the coolant in the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS). This was done to prepare the instruments for maintenance on the next servicing mission: as there were too many tasks for a single flight, the schedule had been split in two. The astronauts then installed a Voltage/Temperature Improvement Kit to each of Hubble's six batteries, which had been in operation since launch in 1990, to prevent them overcharging and overheating. They had intended to photograph these new components in situ but previous tasks had taken longer than anticipated and time would not allow it. This still became the second longest spacewalk in history.

 

Fourth EVA for Smith; Grunsfeld's first.

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23 DECEMBER

 

1999 Michael Foale & Claude Nicollier (STS-103)

 

Duration 8 hr 10 min

 

Few things advance faster than computer technology, and the astronauts took advantage of this by replacing Hubble's computer with a new unit which would run twenty times faster and held six times the memory of the original. They also replaced one of the telescope's Fine Guidance Sensors, which precisely align it as it carries out its observations. The instrument they now fitted had been removed during STS-82, the previous servicing mission, and refurbished on Earth.

 

Foale's third EVA; the only one for Nicollier.

 

 


2008 Yuri Lonchakov & Michael Fincke (ISS Expedition 18)

 

Duration 5 hr 38 min

 

The cosmonauts began by installing a device called a Langmuir probe to the exterior of the Pirs module. This was to measure electromagnetic energy and assess its effects on the pyrotechnic bolts on the Soyuz spacecraft. Two separate capsules had followed a ballistic re-entry path when returning to Earth, subjecting their crews to higher than anticipated G-forces, and it was thought that this might be due to the bolts detonating later than planned. The pair then fitted an ESA space exposure package carrying biological samples onto Zvezda, but Mission Control reported that they were not receiving telemetry signals and after fiddling with the cables the cosmonauts were told to dismantle the package and take it back inside the station. They also retrieved a second exposure experiment and installed a device to measure the plasma environment. The pair appeared to be enjoying their time outside the station: at one point, when Lonchakov attracted his colleague's attention so he could take his picture, Fincke accused him of being "like paparazzi!"

 

Lonchakov's first EVA; Fincke's fifth.

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24 DECEMBER

 

1999 Steven Smith & John Grunsfeld (STS-103)

 

Duration 8 hr 8 min

 

The third and final EVA of the mission saw the astronauts replacing one of Hubble's radio transmitters, which had ceased operating the previous year. As these transmitters are normally extremely reliable, it had not been expected that one would fail and as such they had not been designed for on-orbit replacement. Despite this, the astronauts managed the job using specially-designed EVA tools. They also replaced Hubble's mechanical reel-to-reel recorder with a digital solid state unit, with more than ten times the capacity. The EVA lasted about an hour longer than planned, partly due to difficulties in hooking Grunsfeld's suit up to Orbiter power in the airlock, but when it was over Hubble was in far better condition than it had been three days earlier.

 

Smith's fifth EVA; Grunsfeld's second.

 

 

 

2013 Rick Mastracchio & Michael Hopkins (ISS Expedition 38)

 

Duration 7 hr 30 min

 

The astronauts completed the replacement of the faulty coolant pump by retrieving the spare unit from its stowage platform and sliding it into place, then connecting the ammonia feed lines. During this process they noticed flakes escaping from a valve, so they were instructed to examine their spacesuits for possible contamination but it was determined that there was no problem and they did not have to perform the 'bake out' procedure at the end of the EVA, in which they would allow the Sun's rays to remove any ammonia traces before returning inside. Electrical lines were then hooked up but the pump itself would not be restarted until ground controllers had carried out additional tests.

 

Eighth EVA for Mastracchio; Hopkins' second and last to date: his career total is currently 12 hr 58 min, but at the time of writing he is on orbit as a member of Expedition 64 (he is Dragon Crew-1 Commander) so it is possible this may change.

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25 DECEMBER

 

1973 Gerald Carr & Bill Pogue (Skylab 4)

 

Duration 7 hr 1 min

 

There was no Christmas Day off for the astronauts as they carried out an EVA to attach the X-ray/Ultraviolet Solar Photography experiment to the ATM Truss. This should have been deployed from the scientific airlock but that was now blocked by the parasol. The astronauts also took forty photographs of Comet Kohoutek, replaced ATM film, retrieved space exposure samples and pinned open another malfunctioning aperture door. They then returned to the airlock while Ed Gibson, aboard Skylab, manoeuvred the workshop to the proper attitude to photograph the comet in ultraviolet. The astronauts installed the UV camera to the truss, took three sequences of ten photographs each then brought it back to the airlock. Finally, they repaired a telescope filter wheel, a difficult job in their bulky spacesuit gloves, using a dental mirror and screwdriver. 

 

Carr's first EVA; the second and last for Pogue: his career total amounts to 13 hr 34 min.

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