STS-5 is the first shuttle mission to carry Extravehicular Mobility Units onboard during the Space Shuttle program. Due to various issues happened during STS-5, the first extravehicular activity occurred during STS-6.

The NASA Office of Inspector General's report NASA's Management And Development Of Spacesuits stated that two EMUs were lost in STS-107. This suggests that the shuttle carries EMUs even for mission not planned for EVA.

Therefore, does every shuttle mission after STS-5 carry EMUs?


1 Answer 1


Yes, every shuttle flight after STS-5 carried EMUs, because EVA repair was counted on as a level of redundancy for several critical failures (most of which never happened, but that's not the point).

enter image description here (Source - Generic Shuttle Flight rules)

Here are some of the contingency EVAs:

  • Stow the radiators
  • Close the Payload Bay Doors
  • Stow the Remote Manipulator System
  • Stow the Ku-band Antenna (this one did actually happen once)
  • Close the External Tank Umbilical Doors
  • Repair the tile (After STS-107)
  • Basically stow anything that would prevent the payload bay doors from closing

Here's a list from the EVA Checklist (these are generic, there could be additional flight specific ones): enter image description here

I forgot about the 96 bolt EVA - that one is for if the Orbiter got stuck on the docking system! And yes, they would have had to release 96 bolts (and cut some supply tubing as well...)

enter image description here

The ET door one was out there too. They would have had to stuff clothes in a duffle bag and throw it through the gap between the inner and outer elevons to get a line to travel to the area on.... (this was written before the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) was flown, that would have made it a heck of a lot easier).

enter image description here

This graphic shows how using the OBSS would have made it easier to access the ET door area.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ They had to stuff clothes in a duffle bag and throw it through the gap between the inner and outer elevons to get a line to travel to the area on WOW. $\endgroup$ Feb 2, 2019 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ Which mission was the "ET Door" mission? I've never heard of that, and googling the keywords leads me only to this post. $\endgroup$
    – dotancohen
    Aug 11, 2019 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ @dotancohen It never happened, like most contingency procedures. I should have written it as 'they would of had to...' When I get on a real pc I'll edit for clarity - thanks for pointing this out. $\endgroup$ Aug 11, 2019 at 10:51
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    $\begingroup$ This is why I love this site...! $\endgroup$
    – Ludo
    Nov 25, 2020 at 15:55
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    $\begingroup$ A little more information on STS-49 with the Ku-band antenna problem: scribd.com/document/52710703/… (page 17 in the original document, PDF page 27) $\endgroup$ Nov 27, 2020 at 18:33

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