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Extra-vehicular activity

Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) is work done by an astronaut away from the earth outside of the spacecraft: in space flight or while on the Moon (see List of lunar astronauts) or possibly in the future on another planet or moon. In the early days of space flight it was called 'space walk'. The first EVA was carried out by Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov on March 18 1965 from the Voskhod 2 spacecraft. The first woman to perform an EVA was Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya on July 25, 1984 while she was aboard the Salyut 7 space station.

An EVA is dangerous business for a number of different reasons. The primary one is collision with debris. Orbital velocity at 300km above the Earth (typical for a Space Shuttle mission) is 7.7km/sec. This is 10 times the speed of a bullet, so the kinetic energy of a particle as small as a fleck of paint or a grain of sand is equal to that of a bullet with a mass that is 100 times as large! Every space mission creates more orbiting debris, so this problem will continue to become worse.

Scientists are developing tele-operated robots for outside construction work, to eliminate the need for EVAs.

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Also name of mechas in Neon Genesis Evangelion.