During a five hour EVA that had lots of difficulties, two Russian cosmonauts took the Olympic torch on a spacewalk

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During a five hour EVA yesterday that had lots of minor technical difficulties, two Russian cosmonauts took the Olympic torch on a spacewalk.

Most of the press is focusing on the PR stunt with the Olympic torch, but I think these issues are more interesting:

Working around the Service Module, Kotov and Ryazanski worked on cables at the RK21 site before attempting to fold up the panels on the hardware into its original configuration. The EVA tasks were mainly related to the preparations on the Urthecast pointing platform for installation of the HD camera in December. However, only the removal of the launch restraint from VRM EVA workstation and the disconnection of the RK-21 experiment were completed. The duo struggled with the relocation of the Yakor foot restraint – which they opted to take back to the airlock instead – while also failing to fold and lock RK-21 experiment antenna panels. While the spacewalkers managed to take a large quantity of photos for engineers on the ground to examine, the spacewalk was concluded after the failure to fold up the RK-21 panels, resulting in outstanding tasks for the next EVA.



  • Don Major

    I have had a problem with the word “spacewalk” ever since I first heard it,
    decades ago. Walking is using one’s legs to propel oneself along a surface
    mostly perpendicular to the direction of gravitational acceleration, blocked
    by that surface. However, every picture I’ve seen of an EVA appears to be
    drifting in (effectively) zero-gravity with one or more tethers. How can an
    EVA be described as walking? I must assume that “spacewalk” was coined
    by, and intended for, those who don’t like to think about such things. Thus,
    their minds are further muddled.

  • wodun

    Sounds snappy though.

  • I’d love to hear what you have to say about ‘moonwalk’ vis-a-vis the dance move.

  • What term would you prefer? “Space-diving”, akin to scuba-diving, would work just as well for me.

  • “Space-diving” implies a single direct and significant act of motion, which would not describe and EVA or spacewalk accurately. “Spacewalk” itself is a perfectly good word for EVAs. Don’s objection might have been valid once, but no longer.

    Many English words contain internal words whose meaning is contradictory or not quite accurate. It doesn’t matter because the word itself carries its own meaning independent of that internal word. “Spacewalk” has nothing to do with “walking,” and everyone knows it. It is merely a more elegant word for EVA.

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