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Astronaut Michael López-Alegría Explains the Intricacies of a Spacewalk in the New NASA Series ‘Suiting Up’

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Space! 

This Friday sees the opening night of two shows that I have work in. Expect another blog post before the week is out, but for now, here is my contribution to the Mike Mitchell curated Space! show at everyone’s favorite art space, Gallery1988.

Mike has assembled an incredible line up of artists for this show, so if you’re in the area, get yourselves down there on Friday (or for the rest of the following month), and if not then get your F5 fingers ready when the work goes online over the weekend because you’ll want some of this on your walls.

My piece is a two color screen print (and i am indebted to a super short turnaround by the mighty Danny Askar), in an edition of 30 for $40 of your dollars. For whatever reason, tumblr is freaking out when i try and post it as a single image, but it is supposed to be a whole thing (9 x 24" at full size). I suppose you could buy it and cut it in half to replicate the effect of this tumblr post, but i wouldn’t recommend it.

Up next: Adventure Time for the Mondo Gallery. And my contribution will be unacceptable….

On this day in 1965, astronaut Edward H. White II became the first American to perform Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA), also known as a spacewalk.

As a part of the Gemini 4 mission, astronauts Edward H. White II and James McDivitt were sent on a four day spaceflight, the first multi-day spaceflight by the United States. The mission’s primary objective was to evaluate the effects of prolonged spaceflight and to demonstrate that humans could remain in space for extended periods of time. It’s secondary objective was to conduct the first Extra Vehicular Activity by an American astronaut and to evaluate the ability of the Hand-Held Maneuvering Unit (HHMU), also known as the zip gun, to control the astronaut’s movement.

Edward White, who was lucky enough to perform the first spacewalk, was so enthralled by the experience that he did not want to return to the spacecraft when commanded to.

The transcript from the Gemini 4 mission plays more like a mother calling to her son playing outside to come in for dinner.

McDIVITT: They want you to get back in now.
WHITE (laughing): I’m not coming in… This is fun.
McDIVITT: Come on.
WHITE: Hate to come back to you but I’m coming
McDIVITT: Gosh, you still got three and a half more days to go, buddy
GEMINI CONTROL: You’re got about four minutes to Bermuda.
WHITE: I’m trying to…
McDIVITT: O.K. O.K. Don’t wear yourself out now. Just come in… How you doing there?
WHITE: … whenever a piece of dirt or something goes by, it always heads right for that door and goes on out.
McDIVITT: O.K., come in then.
WHITE: …aren’t you going to hold my hand?
McDIVITT: No, come on in the… Ed, come on in here!
WHITE: All right. I’ll open the door and come through there…
McDIVITT: Come on. Let’s get back in here before it gets dark.
WHITE: It’s the saddest moment of my life.
McDIVITT: Well, you’re going to find it sadder when we have to come down with this thing.

Read more about America’s first spacewalk here: http://motherboard.vice.com/en_ca/blog/americas-first-extra-vehicular-activity

Read the full transcript of the Gemini 4 mission here: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/mission_trans/GT04_TEC.PDF

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NASA astronaut Terry W. Virts aboard the ISS: “A small taste of what it’s like “outside”. Anything not tethered will float away!” March 25th, 2015.

Source: NASA/Terry W. Virts