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Science & Exploration

N° 45–1995: First ESA astronaut walks in space

24 October 1995

"Greetings from 400 km above the Earth ... It is hard to find words for this incredible view. I mean - it's like ... it's indescribable. The view is magnificent The station is now perpendicular to the Earth's surface.


This first Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) of an ESA astronaut ties in very nicely with the Ministerial Conference.

It is an excellent sign for the future and I really hope from up here between Earth and the sky that there will be lots of European astronauts to follow, paving the way to our participation in the International Space Station programme.

Greetings from Mir."

These were the words of ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter on Friday 20 October, at the beginning of the EVA he carried out in the course of ESA's EUROMIR 95 mission.

Russian cosmonaut Sergei Avdeev and ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter opened the exit hatch located at the end of the Kvant-2 module at 12h50 CET. Following the established procedure (see ESA press release n 42-95), Sergei Avdeev made his way slowly along the Strelya mechanical arm to reach its controls and then manoeuvred Thomas Reiter towards the module where the European Science Exposure Facility - the astrophysics and space environment payload of the EUROMIR 95 mission - is located.

After installing the ESEF experiments and checking their operation, at 15h02 CET the two crew members moved to COMZA, a Russian experiment also located on Spectr, to carry out a change of cartridges.

All operations were successfully completed by 16h23 CET, when Sergei Avdeev started to activate the Strelya mechanical arm to move Thomas Reiter back to the Kvant-2 module.

The spacewalk ended with the closing of the outer hatch at 18h06 CET and the middle hatch at 18h36 CET.

The second ESA Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) is scheduled to take place at the beginning of February next year.