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A spacewalk is one of the pinnacles of human spaceflight. Even for professional astronauts, the opportunity to leave the space station and float above the Earth is a rare and exhilarating experience.
It is best described by Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield:
“Nothing compares to being alone in the Universe; to that moment of opening the hatch and pulling yourself outside into the Universe. It is like coming around a corner and seeing the most magnificent sunset of your life, from one horizon to the other where it looks like the whole sky is on fire and there are all those colors, and the sun’s rays look like some great painting up over your head. You just want to open your eyes wide and try to look around at the image, and just try and soak it up. It’s like that all the time.
But then you notice that even though it is huge and capable [the International Space Station], it’s just a speck between everything which is on your left and all the colors and textures of our planet that are just pouring next to you on the right. And you are this little peephole of a microcosm in between those two things, both physically and historically. And you’re very much aware of that the whole time. I’m sort of gushing, but that’s what a spacewalk feels like. It is infinitely worth all the thousands of steps it takes to get there. It’s a great, great thing – I recommend it very highly.” Read more about it here.
If you choose to fly to space on the Russian Soyuz TMA-M spacecraft, you have the opportunity to extend your stay on the ISS and conduct a spacewalk, accompanied by a professional cosmonaut.
Once you have agreed to join a flight to the International Space Station on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, you will have the option of also conducting a spacewalk. If you elect this option your spaceflight training will be extended for a few weeks to allow you to prepare for your walk in space.
The training is conducted at the same location – the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Moscow – as the majority of your training for your spaceflight. The training involves familiarization with the operation of the Orlan spacesuit and how the spacewalk is conducted. The best place to simulate the environment of open space is underwater, so a lot of your training will be completed in Star City’s neutral buoyancy facility, where a full-scale mock-up of the ISS modules is submerged, and you will learn every step of the process needed to successfully prepare for, exit and re-enter the space station in your Orlan space suit.
Your stay in space will be extended by approximately six days to allow time for you and your crew mates to the prepare for and perform your spacewalk.
The price of the spacewalk depends on the timing of your mission and other factors. Please contact us for further details.