- Press Release
- August 16, 2022
Spacewalk Tools With Thomas and Shane (Video)
Use the right tool for the job is an often heard saying for any technician, or home hobbyist, and in spaceflight the advice counts double.
When astronauts head on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station their tool belt is analysed, choreographed, prepared and checked in detail.
Many tools are made to measure, but in addition they are ordered on the tool belt to be easy to access at the time needed. When everything floats each tool is tethered to the spacewalk suit as well.
In this video ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet is reciting the tools he and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough used on their spacewalk during the Alpha mission in 2021 to install new solar arrays for the Space Station.
The video was made for mission planners as a check that all was prepared in order before heading out and highlights the complexity of spacewalk planning and execution. Whereas in this video Shane and Thomas were inside the Space Station’s airlock, during the spacewalk they wore the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuit with gloves that protect the spacewalkers from the vacuum of space but do not make the task at hand any easier.
Over 200 experiments were performed during Thomas’ time in space, with 40 European ones and 12 new experiments led by the French space agency CNES Updates can be found via @esaspaceflight on Twitter, with more details on ESA’s exploration blog via thomaspesquet.esa.int. Background information on the Alpha mission is available at www.esa.int/MissionAlpha with a brochure at www.esa.int/AlphaBrochure.