Space Adventures offers spacewalks

Astronauts who have performed EVAs have routinely stated that their spacewalks have been the highlights of their trips to space, giving them a sense of freedom not possible by simply flying inside a spacecraft. Now, space tourists with a little extra spending money (okay, a lot of extra spending money) can share in that experience. The New York Times reported today (and Space Adventures has since confirmed) that the company will offer tourists the option of performing an EVA during their flights for an extra $15 million. Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, has signed off on the plan, with agency officials claiming that tourists with the right “physical and psychological capabilities” could require just an additional month of training to undertake the EVA. The spacewalks would last up to 90 minutes; by comparison, typical spacewalks by shuttle and station crew members last six to seven hours. The EVA also, according to Space Adventures, “would lengthen the mission approximately six to eight days”; it’s not clear if they mean extending the mission from six to eight days (a two-day extension), which could be accommodated with the regular Soyuz taxi flight schedules, or a week-long extension, which would require changes in the overall schedule for such taxi missions.

1 comment to Space Adventures offers spacewalks

  • […] It was probably inevitable that someone would speak out against Space Adventures’ announcement Friday that it will offer spacewalks as an option for its orbital tourists. While a number of former NASA spacewalkers who advise the company have endorsed the plan, former astronaut Jerry Linenger, who performed an EVA during his stay on the Mir space station in 1997, told the AP he thinks allowing tourists to perform spacewalks is a bad idea. The article is scant on details, although Linenger is quoted as saying that “common sense” makes it clear that only “highly-trained professionals” (in the article’s, not Linenger’s, words) should perform EVAs, and that a tourist on a spacewalk could endanger the life of the cosmonaut he would outside the station with. […]

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