Here's What It's Like to Walk in Space

May 4, 2017
DMD Staff

Many children dream of one day walking in space. Scott Parazynski, M.D., is one of the few who has had the privilege. As an accomplished adventurer, he’s also the only astronaut to have also successfully summited Mount Everest. In this clip, Parazynski describes what it’s like to be on a spacewalk.

Many children dream of one day walking in space. Scott Parazynski, M.D., is one of the few who has had the privilege. As an accomplished adventurer, he’s also the only astronaut to have successfully summited Mount Everest. In this clip, Parazynski describes what it’s like to be on a spacewalk.

Interview Transcript (Modified for Readability)

“Walking in space is really a misnomer. We’re actually crawling in space. We’re using a hand rail and pulling ourselves along or in basically a cherry picker — we’re on the end of a robotic arm, being moved around by someone inside. It’s really an extraordinary experience because you’re inside your own personal spaceship. You’re actually floating inside your spacesuit. It’s not like we’re wearing this thing and you feel the weight of it. You’re actually floating inside, bouncing around a little bit inside of the space suit. Everything that you need to sustain life is built around you. You have oxygen tanks in your backpack, CO2 removal, thermal control from the temperature extremes outside. You have lights on your helmet, TV cameras, tools that you need to conduct your tasks outside, are mounted in a tool kit right in front of yourself. Really, just an extraordinary amount of technology built around the astronaut to do this.

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Then, you realize that every moment out there is precious. You have a very tight timeline of activities that need to get done. But every once in a while, you look up from your tunnel vision of the job that you have, and you realize, there are the Himalayas, or the Great Barrier Reef. It’s an extraordinary office to be in.”

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