On July 21, 2020, NASA’s Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken will conduct the 300th spacewalk involving American astronauts. It came 55 years after Ed White stepped out of his Gemini 4 capsule while orbiting Earth to become America’s first-ever spacewalker.
To celebrate the latest milestone in NASA’s history, Digital Trends has gathered together 30 of the best shots taken during some of those 300 spacewalks:
1. It all started here, with NASA’s Ed White emerging from the Gemini 4 spacecraft all those years ago.
2. Backdropped by New Zealand, NASA astronaut Robert L. Curbeam Jr. (left) and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Christer Fuglesang participate in a spacewalk in 2006.
3. Here, NASA’s Drew Feustel is shown tethered to the ISS just outside of the Quest airlock during a spacewalk he conducted with fellow astronaut Ricky Arnold (out of frame) in 2018.
4. American astronaut Dale A. Gardner prepares to dock with the spinning WESTAR VI satellite during a mission in 1984. Gardner used a large tool called the Apogee Kick Motor Capture Device to enter the nozzle of a spent WESTAR VI engine and stabilize the communications spacecraft sufficiently to capture it for return to Earth in the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle Discovery.
5. NASA’s Christina Koch takes a “space-selfie” with Earth behind her and reflected in her visor, too. She and fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir (out of frame) ventured into the vacuum of space for 7 hours and 17 minutes in 2019 to swap a failed battery charge-discharge unit with a spare during the first-ever all-woman spacewalk.
6. Drew Feustel seemingly hangs off the ISS while conducting a spacewalk with fellow astronaut Ricky Arnold (out of frame) in 2018.
7. Here we see NASA’s Story Musgrave anchored on the end of the Remote Manipulator System arm as he prepares to be elevated to the top of the towering Hubble Space Telescope to install protective covers on the magnetometers in 1993.
8. Astronaut Ron Garan uses a tether to secure his position during a 2011 spacewalk outside the ISS and space shuttle Atlantis. The Persian Gulf can be seen below.
9. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano exit the Quest airlock at the start of a spacewalk in 2013.
10. Terry Virts is seen working to complete a cable routing task while the sun begins to peek over the Earth’s horizon in 2015. Virts and fellow astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore completed a 6-hour, 41-minute spacewalk routing more than 300 feet of cable as part of a reconfiguration of the station to enable future U.S. commercial crew vehicles to dock with the space station.
11. Anchored to a Canadarm2 mobile foot restraint, astronaut Rick Linnehantakes carries out work on the ISS during a spacewalk in 2008.
12. NASA astronaut Anne McClain works outside the Quest airlock where she exited shortly after beginning a 6-hour, 39-minute spacewalk to upgrade the space station’s power storage capacity in a 2019 spacewalk.
13. Reid Wiseman takes part in a 2014 spacewalk on the ISS. During the 6-hour, 13-minute spacewalk, Wiseman and ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst (out of frame) worked outside the space station’s Quest airlock relocating a failed cooling pump to external stowage and installing gear that provides back up power to external robotics equipment.
14. Surely the most spectacular spacewalk image ever, this incredible photo shows NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless II approaching his maximum distance from the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1984. The spacewalk saw McCandless become the first astronaut to maneuver about in space untethered, during what was a first “field” tryout of a nitrogen-propelled, hand-controlled backpack device called the Manned Maneuvering Unit.
15. Chris Cassidy exits the Quest airlock to begin a spacewalk on the at the ISS in 2013.
16. Visible through a window on Space Shuttle Endeavour’s aft flight deck, astronaut Rick Linnehan participates in an ISS spacewalk in 2008.
17. NASA astronauts Nick Hague (suit without stripes) and Anne McClain (suit with red stripes) work to retrieve batteries and adapter plates from an external pallet during a 2019 spacewalk to upgrade the space station’s power storage capacity.
18. Michael L. Gernhardt is shown during a 1995 spacewalk which was conducted in and around Space Shuttle Endeavour’s cargo bay. Gernhardt’s visor reflects Endeavour’s forward section.
19. Here we see Andrew Morgan repairing the space station’s cosmic particle detector, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, in 2019.
20. NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan takes pictures with a camera shielded from the effects of microgravity during a 2020 spacewalk to finalize thermal repairs on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.
21. Robert L. Curbeam, Jr. takes part in a 6-hour, 36-minute spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS) in 2006.
22. Partially inside, partially outside the Quest airlock on the ISS, astronaut Alvin Drew prepares to begin his shared spacewalking duties with astronaut Steve Bowen in 2011.
23. NASA’s John B. Herrington (far left) takes part in a 2002 spacewalk, with the forward section of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in view.
24. Robert L. Curbeam, Jr. at work during a 2006 ISS spacewalk that lasted 7 hours and 31 minutes.
25. While anchored to a foot restraint on the end of the Orbiter Boom Sensor System, astronaut Scott Parazynski assesses his repair work as the solar array is fully deployed during a 2007 outing.
26. Andrew Feustel reenters the space station after completing an 8-hour, 7-minute spacewalk in 2011.
27. Astronaut Franklin R. Chang-Diaz works with a grapple fixture during an ISS spacewalk in 2002.
28. With his feet secured on a restraint on the space station remote manipulator system’s robotic arm or Canadarm2, Mike Fossum can be seen holding the Robotics Refueling Mission payload during an ISS spacewalk in 2011.
29. Astronaut Sunita Williams appears to touch the sun during a 6-hour, 28-minute spacewalk in 2012.
30. Chris Cassidy works during a 6-hour spacewalk to install three lithium-ion batteries on the Space station’s truss structure on July 16, 2020. The orbiting lab was above the North Pacific Ocean off the coast of Russia flying into an orbital sunrise at the time this photograph was taken.
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