Spacesuits and Spacewalks

NASA Office of Education

Astronaut Barbara Morgan observes a student working on a computer Visit the NASA Education website. You'll discover a wealth of information including a list of current opportunities; education related feature stories; and contact information for project representatives.
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Welcome to the NASA Education Spacesuits and Spacewalks Web site.

Engage your students in the wonders of space as they learn about spacesuits and spacewalks.

Things you can do with this site:
--Check out the Clickable Spacesuit and learn about the different parts of a spacesuit.
--Take a look at videos about the spacesuits of the future.
--Watch Brain Bites videos and learn about hard-to-do moves in a spacesuit.
--Take a step back in time and visit the Spacesuit History Gallery.
--Explore the Educational Activities.
--Read about spacesuit designers and engineers who create and test spacesuits.
--Discover other NASA Web sites with information about spacesuits and spacewalks.

Science Teachers Turned Spacewalkers for STS-119 the Mission

Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold wearing training versions of their orange launch and landing suitsJoseph Acaba (left) and Richard Arnold made their first spaceflights on STS-119. Image Credit: NASA Two educators who are now fully trained NASA astronauts made their first journey into orbit on one of space shuttle Discovery's missions to the International Space Station. During the STS-119 mission, Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold stepped outside the station to conduct critical spacewalking tasks. Acaba taught at Melbourne High School and Dunnellon Middle School in Florida. Arnold taught science and mathematics at several schools in the U.S. and overseas, including John Hanson Middle School in Waldorf, Md.

Discovery launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 15, 2009. The shuttle delivered the space station's fourth and final set of solar arrays, thus completing the complex's backbone, or truss.

Learn more about STS-119
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Learn more about Joseph Acaba
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› Read interview

Learn more about Richard Arnold
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› Read interview

Clickable Spacesuit -- An Interactive Spacesuit Experience

Astronaut in white spacesuit works outside the space stationLearn about spacesuits with this interactive feature. Image Credit: NASA NASA's Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or EMU, is like a personal mini-spacecraft. Mouse over the parts of the spacesuit and learn why each piece is important.

› View The Clickable Spacesuit


Spacewalks to Repair the Hubble Space Telescope

Astronauts practice installing the Wide Field Camera 3 during a training session in an underwater facilityAstronauts practice installing the Wide Field Camera 3 while divers and engineers observe. This full-scale model is a mock-up of the Hubble Space Telescope submerged in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab Facility in Houston, Texas. Image Credit: NASA The mission to Hubble required the STS-125 astronaut crew to prepare for and perform five back-to-back spacewalks, also known as extravehicular activities, or EVAs. Video clips and activities explain how the spacewalks were skillfully choreographed to meet time requirements and how the Hubble repair procedures were practiced in "Earth-normal" and simulated "space-normal" environments. The repairs will extend the life of the telescope until 2020. The success of the mission depended on the spacesuits, tools, and skills used to repair Hubble, and on the people at NASA who made it happen.

Visit the education resource site "The Hubble Space Telescope Inspires Wonder" for more information.
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Station Spacewalk Game

A screenshot from the game showing the exterior of the space stationThe view outside the space station includes the docked shuttle and Earth below. Image Credit: NASA IT Imagine the thrill of floating out of the International Space Station and into the emptiness of space. Picture the amazing view of peering past the airlock to see the docked space shuttle and, beyond that, the blues and greens of Earth. What would it be like to move along the metal structure of the space station, on the way to work on the orbiting science laboratory?

Only a select handful of people will ever experience those things and see those sights. But NASA's new Station Spacewalk Game offers the next best thing. In this online video game, players take on the role of spacewalking astronauts. They are tasked with working to continue assembly of the International Space Station. The game is based on real work NASA astronauts performed on shuttle missions.

› Station Spacewalk Game

Educational Spacewalk Simulations STS-125

A 3-D animation of Hubble Space Telescope repair mission STS-125This animation shows the space shuttle capture of the Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: DigitalSpace Corporation The STS-125 mission returned the space shuttle to the Hubble Space Telescope. The shuttle Discovery launched Hubble in 1990 and released it into an orbit 304 nautical miles above Earth. Since then, it has circled Earth more than 100,000 times and provided more than 4,000 astronomers with access to the stars that would not have been possible from inside Earth's atmosphere. Hubble has helped answer some of science's key questions and has provided images that have awed and inspired the world. This 3-D simulation is an interactive animation of several spacewalks planned for this mission.

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Spacewalking Videos

Astronaut on spacewalk Challenges of Spacewalking
Choose the correct "fix" for real problems that astronauts have faced while working in space.

Student Articles

The Mercury Seven astronauts wearing silver-colored spacesuits The History of Spacesuits: Student K-4 Article
Astronauts have used many different spacesuits during NASA's history.

Lee in a spacesuit in front of Earth, with the shuttle in the foreground What Is a Spacesuit: Student K-4 Article
Spacesuits protect astronauts in space, on the moon and on other planets.

Aldrin wearing a spacesuit on the moon What Is a Spacesuit: Student 5-8 Article
Spacesuits allow astronauts to work outside a spacecraft in orbit, on the moon or on another planet.

An astronaut floating in space What Is a Spacewalk: Student K-4 Article
Astronauts go on spacewalks to do important jobs outside their spacecraft.

An astronaut exiting the airlock What Is a Spacewalk: Student 5-8 Article
Astronauts go on spacewalks to do important jobs outside their spacecraft.

Related Multimedia

EVA Systems NASA's Digital Learning Network
The DLN offers educational modules through its free webcasts.
› Suits: Step Into the Void (5-12)

DIY Podcast Do-It-Yourself Podcast: Spacesuits
Create your own podcast about spacesuits with NASA video and audio clips.

The NASA Spacesuit The NASA Spacesuit
Explore the 'personal spacecraft' of astronauts, from the silver suit of the Mercury 7 to the 'pumpkin suit' of shuttle astronauts.

Amy Ross stands beside a spacesuit Interview With Amy Ross
Spacesuit engineer Amy Ross talks about the new spacesuits that will travel beyond Earth's orbit.
› Part 1        › Part 2

Screen capture from video of astronaut wearing EVA helmet Education Materials -- Video Resources
Add NASA video clips about spacesuits to your educational resource collection.

Page Last Updated: October 16th, 2014
Page Editor: Sandra May