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Stationed in the Stars
Spacewalking:
Jim Newman

Back to Astronauts in Hard Hats

"What we call 'translating' around the space station, people call spacewalking. But, of course, you can't actually walk in space. There's nothing for your feet to walk on, in the sense of gravity holding you down to walk. What we end up doing is actually more of a space crawl. It's like climbing something that's going straight up. That is, you use your hands a lot, in fact, almost entirely, in order to move around the space station. So you grab ahold of one handrail, then you grab ahold of the next one. You let go of the last one, you grab the one you're on, you grab the next one. And that's literally how you do it, from one after the other handrail to wherever it is you're going.

"There is one other way, and we call it the Elevator. That is, if you get on the end of the robotic manipulator system, on the end of the arm, it can actually take you wherever it is you need to go."



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