What is it like to go on a spacewalk?
Outside on a ‘spacewalk’, we’re actually crawling hand over hand using handrails on the outside of the Space Shuttle, space station or the Hubble Space Telescope or whatever we happen to be working on. We’re actually not truly walking, but it is an incredible human experience. I think it is the greatest job in the universe to be outside in your own personal ‘spaceship’ with just a thin visor between you and the enormity of the universe.
You have to have on your body everything that a Space Shuttle has in terms of systems to sustain you there. You need oxygen delivery, carbon dioxide removal, temperature control and protection from the vacuum of space. You need radios, TV cameras, battery power, cooling and lighting; you need a computer to see what is going on with your spacesuit and tools on the front of your suit. You are physically in your own personal spaceship. There’s even a little jet backpack on your back that will enable you to fly yourself to safety if you were to float free from the space station. I really think it is a dream to get a chance to go outside on a spacewalk.
Right: Parazynski has completed over 47 hours of spacewalking