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How fast do astronauts move while spacewalking?

Their speed is limited mainly by how often they have to do 'tether swaps'. To prevent floating away, they must have a tether attached to a handrail at all times in addition to their safety tether line that moves along with them and extends to a max length.

So you attach to the next handrail, detach from the previous, move to the end and repeat. As Calvin mentioned their path is planned out and rehearsed and they are trained to move slowly and deliberately.
His 0.5 m/s is a good top estimate. If there were an emergency, they could detach their other tethers and simply pull themselves along their safety tether back to the airlock as fast as they could go hand over hand.

When they enter the foot restraint on the station robotic arm and are moved around by it, the arm programming is set to limit its max movement rate to less than 20 cm per second.

While theoretically things could be done faster everything is VERY SLOOOOW to minimize risk.


This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Do you find this fact strange? Tell us in the comments below!

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What are your thoughts on this subject?
20 Comments
Nancy Gardner
I was trying to guess and I was estimating much faster.
0
Jan 15, 2021 8:23PM
jimsclads
Michael Doherty, earth is rotating at 1,000 mph at the equator too which changes as you go north due to shorter distance around the earth at that point. So 725 mph at 45 degrees.
0
Feb 27, 2020 2:48PM
Finakees
AB, Slowly? They are moving as fast as the vehicle the are spacewalking from, orbiting earth. How slowly is that? They are asking a question that is ambiguous.
0
Sep 16, 2019 10:41PM
Finakees
Tom Erskine, Exactly!! Somewhat of a trick question.
0
Sep 16, 2019 10:30PM
Mary Pelto
Michael Doherty, which way are you driving?
0
Aug 11, 2019 7:58PM
ninakamwene
Interesting and educational. Thank you.
0
Jun 11, 2019 6:21PM
Michael Doherty
Since the earth is traveling at 67,000 mph through space, am I going 67,035 mph when I drive to the corner store?
3
Mar 12, 2019 9:04PM
Charles van Vleck
In an Olympic size swimming pool.
0
Feb 27, 2019 4:45PM
Tom Erskine
I find it VERY strange. You ask how fast they're moving. They are orbiting the Earth at about 17,000 mph and you're telling me .5 m/s?
1
Dec 26, 2018 1:55AM
Fran Graybowski
Chuck Richards, that is exactly what I was thinking.
0
Nov 30, 2018 5:04PM
Don Racette
Scottie Moore That's what your husband says about you.
0
Nov 7, 2018 5:15PM
fabitzer
I disagree, spped freeks. If a TGV train is doing 184 mph, am I doing 186 mph? When walking towards the back of the train? 😱
0
Sep 15, 2018 10:57PM
Mr.LaFaye
cool beans
0
Sep 1, 2018 7:56PM
Chuck Richard
The space station travels at 17150 mph. If they’re tied to it that’s how fast their going
2
Aug 5, 2018 7:06PM
scottlarock
I'm not going...
0
Aug 3, 2018 4:57PM

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