Unleash your inner nerd with the top-twelve most epic spacewalks of all time.

From the moment Japanese astronaut Soichi Noglichi bid a cheery wave wave to his US colleague Steve Robinson as they floated outside the International Space Station (ISS) 230-miles above the Earth, to Mike Massimino cheekily peeking through the flight deck window of his space shuttle, these pictures from orbit truly are out-of-this-world.

Called Extra-vehicular activity (EVA), spacewalks are performed by astronauts who face temperatures as cold as minus 150 degrees-Celsius and well over the boiling point of water, 120 degrees-Celsius.

space

Costing US$150-billion (£93-billion) the ISS has been flying around the Earth at 4.9 miles-per-second since it was constructed in 1998.

Other pictures show Nasa astronaut Steven L Smith standing on the end of the remote manipulator system of the space shuttle during a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission in 1999, astronaut Joseph R Tanner on shuttle mission STS-82 (11-21 February 1997), when astronauts from the shuttle Discovery performed five EVAs to service the Hubble.

The daring feat of leaving the safety of a spacecraft to float in the airless void of space is performed only by elite astronauts with incredible coordination and nerves of steel. They perform external repairs or modifications to space shuttles or the ISS.

space

The first EVA was on March 18, 1965 when cosmonaut Alexei Leonov first departed the spacecraft in Earth orbit to test the concept, during the Soviet Union's Voskhod 2 orbital mission.

The longest EVA by Susan J Helms and James S Voss was eight hours and 56 minutes, during STS-102 on March 11, 2001.

Russian, Anatoly Solovyev currently holds the record for the most spacewalks, 16 in total and has clocked up an incredible 82-hours 22minutes in space.

A spacesuit weighs about 280 pounds on Earth but weighs nothing in the microgravity environment of space. Just as well really.

Loading Slideshow...
  • BM_SPACE_01278767

    Astronaut Steve Robinson on the robotic arm of the International Space Station, on August 03, 2005 in Space. This was during his six-hour spacewalk to repair the heat shield on the docked space shuttle Discovery, after it was found that two ceramic strips were protruding from it. It was feared that the strips might have led to overheating of the shield during Discovery space shuttle re-entry. This was the first time that an astronaut had ever performed in-flight repairs to a shuttle. This mission, STS-114 or Return to Flight, launched on 26th July 2005. It was the first shuttle mission since Columbia was lost on re-entry on 1st February 2003.

  • BM_SPACE_01278766

    Astronaut Lee M E Morin performing a space walk (extravehicular activity, EVA) during the construction of the International Space Station (ISS), on April 13, 2002 in Space. He is holding a keel pin from the S0 (S-zero) Truss.

  • BM_SPACE_01278765

    Astronaut Bruce McCandless floats free above the Earth in his manned manoeuvring unit (MMU) during the 10th space shuttle flight (mission 41B) on February 07,1984 in Space. McCandless, who helped design the MMU, was the first person to fly it, thus becoming the first "human satellite" in orbit around the Earth.

  • BM_SPACE_01278764

    Astronaut Edward H. White II floats in space during the Gemini IV space mission. White spent 21 minutes outside the spacecraft on 3rd June 1965, becoming the first American to walk in space.

  • BM_SPACE_01278763

    SPACE - AUGUST 03: Astronaut Steve Robinson on the robotic arm of the International Space Station, on August 03, 2005 in Space. This was during his six-hour spacewalk to repair the heat shield on the docked space shuttle Discovery, after it was found that two ceramic strips were protruding from it. It was feared that the strips might have led to overheating of the shield during Discovery space shuttle re-entry. This was the first time that an astronaut had ever performed in-flight repairs to a shuttle. This mission, STS-114 or Return to Flight, launched on 26th July 2005. It was the first shuttle mission since Columbia was lost on re-entry on 1st February 2003.

  • BM_SPACE_01278762

    Astronaut Mike Massimino looking through the flight deck window of the Space Shuttle on May 17, 2009 in Space. Massimino was part of a crew Space Shuttle STS-125 mission. He is seen here outside the Space Shuttle during extravehicular activity (EVA) to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope.

  • BM_SPACE_01278761

    The vast Hubble Space Telescope (HST) seen in the cargo bay of Shuttle Endeavour during the last spacewalk of the servicing mission, STS-61, on December 1993 in Space. Astronaut Story Musgrave is seen at the end of the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm, carrying covers for the newly-replaced magnetometers. Astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman is seen in the payload bay at bottom.

  • BM_SPACE_01278760

    Astronaut Dale A. Gardner holding a For Sale sign during extravehicular activity (EVA) on November 14, 1984 in Space. Astronaut Joseph P. Allen can be seen in Gardner's visor reflectio

  • BM_SPACE_01278759

    Astronaut Joseph R. Tanner performs a spacewalk during a Space Shuttle Mission.

  • BM_SPACE_01278758

    NASA astronaut Steven L. Smith standing on the end of the remote manipulator system of the space shuttle during a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission in 1999.

  • BM_SPACE_01278757

    Astronaut Soichi Noguchi from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency waving for the camera on August, 2005 in Space. Astronaut Steve Robinson is seen taking the picture reflected in the visor.

  • BM_SPACE_01278756

    Astronaut Bruce McCandless II, one of two 41-B mission specialists, a few metres from the Earth-orbiting space shuttle Challenger in Space. This historic extravehicular activity was the first to make use of a nitrogen-propelled hand- controlled device called the manned manoeuvring unit (MMU). The unit allows for much greater mobility than that afforded to previous spacewalkers who had to use restrictive tethers.