How fast can astronauts move through space on their spacewalks?

You might be surprised by the answer

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Astronauts on an orbiting spacecraft are already moving around the Earth at an incredible 27,500 kilometres (17,000 miles) per hour

Astronauts on an orbiting spacecraft are already moving around the Earth at an incredible 27,500 kilometres (17,000 miles) per hour

Asked by Tom Davies

Nowadays all astronauts on a spacewalk will be residents of the International Space Station (ISS). To stay in orbit the ISS has to move at about 27,500 kilometres (17,000 miles) per hour so technically spacewalking astronauts are already moving at an incredible speed.

Relative to the station, however, a spacewalking astronaut does not tend to move particularly fast. Going outside of the spacecraft is a dangerous past-time and so astronauts tend to take their tasks slow and steady. If they were not tethered the ISS there is a genuine risk of floating away with just a small force from the astronaut.

Answered by Sophie Allan from the National Space Centre

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