Chapter 19 of 29 from Chris Hadfield

Spacewalking: Spacesuits

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Chris gives a head-to-toe tour of an EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit), explaining how it keeps astronauts alive while spacewalking and conducting work outside the ship.

Topics include: Stay Focused and Aware • The Spacewalk Experience • The First Canadian Spacewalk

Chris gives a head-to-toe tour of an EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit), explaining how it keeps astronauts alive while spacewalking and conducting work outside the ship.

Topics include: Stay Focused and Aware • The Spacewalk Experience • The First Canadian Spacewalk

Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield Teaches Space Exploration

In 28+ lessons, the former commander of the International Space Station teaches you the science of space exploration and what the future holds.

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Explore the unknown

Impossible things happen. At age nine, Chris Hadfield knew he wanted to go to space. He eventually went there three times, becoming a commander of the International Space Station. In his MasterClass, Chris teaches you what it takes to explore space and what the future holds for humans in the final frontier. Learn about the science of space travel, life as an astronaut, and how flying in space will forever change the way you think about living on Earth.

Learn about the past, present, and future of space exploration with astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Download the workbook for lesson recaps, assignments, and photocopies of handwritten notes that Chris took to space.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Chris will also answer select student questions.

Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I love this so much. I am in 11 grade and i am really into this class.

Being able to get a glimpse into the inner workings of the space programs and perspective from a well-known astronaut has been a fantastic experience. I'm using information here to help guide my encouragement to my young son who is already fascinated with space, the universe, and how things work.

Chris has been captivating and so enjoyable to watch. Neither my husband nor I are trying to become Astronauts but we are fascinated by space travel. We both took a good deal away from the class, a good connection and encouragement. Thanks.

Fantastic classes! Thank you Col. Chris Hadfield for taking the time to share with us! God Bless.

Comments

Pedro C.

I really liked to know about some of the challenges at space and the amazing ingeneering needed for spacewalking suits. It would be wonderful to know more about the space challenges, including radiation, pressure, micrometeorites, temperature, etc. It would also be wonderful to know more about the different layers, roles, design requierements, materials, tests, dangers, possible contingencies, emergencies procedures, etc.

Traci

Wow! A little world within that spacesuit. That was incredible to watch. The life of an astronaut is more understood with this class. It's all about education and taking this class has given me such great love and admiration for our space program.

Ramona T.

This is the first lesson that left me realizing how incredibly dangerous, isolating and amazing the life of this astronaut was.

Rob G.

So how are the surface of suits decontaminated before reentry back into the ISS?

Chris M.

What percentage of suit design features were built into the suit prior to the first space walk as compared to subsequent spacewalks. I'd be fascinated to know how many things these folks thought of before they went out there...and then after they tried it out.

Hank W.

Is there a way to clean the space suit if it's contaminated? I'm thinking of firefighters who go into a toxic environment and collect bad stuff on their gear, and don't want to bring that into the station or truck.

Terry W.

Awesome! Keeping it simple and easy to understand, this video is like one of Cmdr Hadfield's one-pagers for Space Suits. The suit is much more complex than I had imagined. I was not aware of the Jet pack capability, but it sure makes sense to be able to return to the station autonomously should an emergency arise outside the space station. Joysticks? I liked that pop out control system.

Terra C.

Sun blockers on the side are cool, is there a diagram with technical terms for space suits? what's the replacement part / parts for those side sun visors?

Hallie J.

The detailed design of the spacesuit is truly remarkable. Mom would like to ask about why you are able to remain stable while you are tethered to the ship and spin out if you accidentally detach.

Eric M.

I really enjoyed his detailed explanation of the EVA suit. I always wondered what the psi was and if it was true that they have a jet pack. How cool!

Transcript

Most of the time that I've been in space, I've been on the inside of a spaceship. And we can do most of the stuff outside with the robots, the big, robotic extensions of ourselves. But sometimes we need the dexterity of a human hand. We need the sensitivity of a set of arms to maybe turn a bolt or do something that requires judgment and the tactile nature of our interaction ourselves. And that's when we need to put on a suit like this and go outside. This is a spacewalking suit. EVA, Extravehicular Activity, going outside. Not intra-vehicular, extra. This is a suit that lets us do it. The environment outside is extremely unfriendly. Of course, the number one big difference is there's absolutely no air. So the suit has to be pressurized with a breathable environment inside. It's also wickedly hot and wickedly cold at the same time outside. In the sun, it's 120 degrees Fahrenheit on the outside of this suit. But in the shade on the other side, it's minus 100 degrees. The suit has to protect you from those big temperature extremes. You're also subject to getting hit by all the little tiny particles of the universe, like you're being sandblasted the whole time you're outside. This suit has to protect you from that. So it's not really a suit. It's more like a one-person spaceship, completely self-contained and different from the ship that you crawl out of. Here's how it works. On your back is a life support system. We call it the Personal Life Support System, the PLSS. And it has your oxygen purification system, it has your battery power, it has a radio, it has a cooling system. This is sort of the nuts and bolts, the guts of your suit that keeps you alive. We keep the suit as low a pressure as we possibly can, because if you pressurize this suit to the full same pressure as you get here at sea level, you'd be in a balloon where you could never even bend your elbow or close your fist. So we only run the suit down about one-third of the pressure that's around me right now. Instead of 14.7 PSI, we run the suit at about 4.3 PSI, because that's the trade off between what I need to keep my body healthy and how bendable we can make the elbows and the fingers on board this suit. What gas do you put inside the suit? We could have air. We could have a mixture of other gases. But if you're going to run down at just 4.3 PSI, then you really need all the oxygen you can get. And so we decided a long time ago the gas that's inside the suit is 100% oxygen, just down at a low pressure. Let me go over the suit top to bottom. Here at the top is a camera for the ground to watch what's happening. You reach up blind, you push this button right here, the little green light comes on, and these cameras are activated. If you push the button multiple times, it changes lenses, and that way everybody down in mission control can look over your shoulder and make sure you're doing all the things that you need to do, but also as you finish working in one part of t...