The space walks outside the ISS

Spacewalks

An EVA is an extra vehicular activity which is made by an astronaut in the space or outside a spaceship or a station. Obviusly, the EVAs did by humanity are associated to two categories: the moon walks taken during the moon landing or the space walks which happen, more or less regularly, outside the international space station.

We know that in this moment in command of the ISS there is our italian astronaut, Luca Parmitano. It is the first time that in command of the station there is an italian, but this isn’t his first primacy neither. In the 2013 AstroLuca did a spacewalk of 6 hours and 7 minutes, becoming the first italian astronaut to did an extravehicular activity.

Right in these months they are undertaking many interesting spacewalks, after the failure of the last missions of the station. Like the missed EVA with only women or some small accidents that endangered the future of our international station.

The first spacewalk of an italian

Before to find out what is happening in these months on board and outside the ISS, let’s make a small jump into the past to re-discover another big italian success of few years ago. The first spacewalk of Luca Parmitano, the first italian to walk between the stars.

Luca Parmitano
Luca Parmitano and the first spacewalk of an italian

After the carrier as fighter pilot Luca Parmitano was selected in the 2009 to become astronaut. In the 2013 he entered so in the heart of his new carrier between the stars, by leaving toward the international space station. In the NASA all the astronauts have a nickname, and so it’s like that that at the beginning of his new carrier Parmitano obtained even a new name: AstroLuca.

During that mission it was predicted two spacewalks for the italian astronaut. The first one took place the 9th July of the 2013 and it lasted 6 hours and 7 minutes. It was the first italian EVA.

The second one took place, instead, the 16th of July of the 2013, but this time there were some technical problems. An accident that could ended much worst but that finished in the best way.

The spacewalks of AstroLuca as commander

The last 2nd of october there was the passing of the torch onboard of the ISS between the russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and Luca Parmitano, that took the role of commander, becoming the first italian in charge of the international space station. The beginning of the carrier was crowded and difficult. There were, infact, 9 astronauts on board of the station, that at the moment is a little bit less crowdy.

Mission Beyond
Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan are ready for the next spacewalk

Even though the honor to hold this charge is massive, what most excited, both the person concerned and who follows him from the heart, are the EVAs. And these months as commander will surely be full of spacewalks.

The first space walk took place the last 15th of November, the first one of a serie of missions aimed to the repair of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a particle detector. Together with Parmitano went out even the NASA’s astronaut Andrew Morgan. AstroLuca obtained another primacy, this time at european level and not only italian, as the first european in charge of an operation outside the station.

A second walk took place, instead, the 19th of November, by going on with the work started on the spectrometer. But the work didn’t finish yet. It’s predicted a third spacewalk, during which they will have to install the cooling pumps right on the instrument. And probably this won’t be the last one either. The spacewalks to repair the instrument might arrive to five.

The first female EVA

Let’s talk now about some of the colleagues of AstroLuca which are now onboard of the station with him. Do you remember the failure of the first EVA totally pink? It seems that they tried to do it again and this time it was a success, finally!

Cristina Koch and Jessica Meir
Cristina Koch and Jessica Meir – the first female EVA

The 18th October of the 2019 Cristina Koch and Jessica Meir went out in the space to replace one of the battery Charge/Discharge Units. What should we say, it will be only an acronym but EVA is a woman and it is unbelievable that this is the first EVA which is really female. This was the 221th extravehicular mission, but this first one female. For the Meir this was the first spacewalk, while for the Koch it was the fourth. The first time for a woman it was in the 1984 and it was the russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya. Since there other women went out in the space, but always followed by a men colleague, until now.

This post is also available in: Italiano

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