50th anniversary of first spacewalks

Air and Space

Expedition 35 Flight Engineers Chris Cassidy (pictured) and Tom Marshburn (out of frame) completed a spacewalk on May 11, 2013, to inspect and replace a pump controller box on the International Space Station. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first spacewalks in 1965, the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC is launching a new exhibition, “Outside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extravehicular Activity.

The exhibit runs from January 8 through June 8, 2015 and includes artifacts, personal accounts and photographs, including the impressive images shared here.

The first spacewalks were taken by Aleksei Leonov (on March 18, 1965) and Edward White (June 3, 1965) in the spring of 1965 and, since then, more than 200 astronauts and cosmonauts have logged more than 1,000 hours walking and working outside spacecraft.

According to a NASA story on spacewalking, when ordered to climb back inside the Gemini spacecraft in 1965, Ed White, America’s first spacewalker said it was “the saddest moment of my life.”

White had spent more than half an hour floating freely in space.

NASA reports that some astronauts liken walking in space to being underwater. And astronaut John Herrington, veteran of three spacewalks totaling almost 20 on the STS-113 mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, pointed out that the simulated trained he received didn’t prepare him for the smell of space. Astronauts say the burnt metal smell of space lingers on spacesuits after they come inside.

space walking

The gloves were constructed of an outer shell of Chromel-R fabric with thermal insulation to provide protection while handling extremely hot or cold objects. The blue fingertips were made of silicone rubber to provide sensitivity. Credit: National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution

According to the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum, “EVA changed the nature of human spaceflight. It made possible walking on the Moon, servicing the Hubble Space Telescope, and building the International Space Station [and] remains crucial to our ongoing presence in space.”

Prize patrol: Space trip from Land Rover & Virgin Galactic

As part of the debut for its new compact SUV called the Discovery Sport, Land Rover has unveiled a contest with partner Virgin Galactic to send you and three friends into space.

Virgin Galactic

To enter the Galactic Discovery competition, you’ll need to have a Facebook account and you’ll need to produce a 30-second video (or still image) that demonstrates your spirit of adventure. You also need to make sure the three friends you name as your space buddies are indeed willing to go along.

Got all that? Then submit your entry materials here.

Be sure to look closely at the Terms and Condition of the contest.

The bonus prize in the contest is indeed a trip to Space with Virgin Galactic

“The winner will take a number in the overall queue and be assigned a date accordingly for the Space Flight by Virgin Galactic” within the first one thousand private space flights taking off from the Spaceport America, New Mexico USA.

There are also two other prize packages: For residents of Canada, there’s a prize consisting of round-trip economy tickets for four to New Mexico, three nights’ hotel accommodations (in two standard rooms, double occupancy), a tour of the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space facility and the chance to take a desert off-road driving experience in a Land Rover.

The prize for U.S. residents includes: a trip for four (4) to ….Iceland, with flights and hotels covered and meals and activities “to be determined.”

Here’s the Land Rover film promoting the contest. Good luck!

Win a ticket for a flight into space

The folks at AXE ( a line of grooming products for men) have kicked off a contest to give away 22 tickets for a seat on a suborbital spacecraft – and they’re recruited astronaut Buzz Aldrin to help with the promotion. (See below).

Rules vary by country and market, but it appears that contestants outside the U.S. need to create an “astronaut profile” explaining why they want to go to space, gather enough votes to qualify for some sort of challenge that might win them a spot in a space camp in Orlando, Florida and from there possibly get chosen for one of the 22 slots on the flight.

Entrants from the U.S. appear to have it much easier. Just go to this site before February 3rd and fill out a form.