Since the first spacewalks were preformed, have there been any spacecraft that didn't allow for a spacewalk?

  • $\begingroup$ SpaceShipOne? New Shepard? $\endgroup$ – JCRM Apr 16 '19 at 20:48

If you give "the first spacewalk" as your starting point, then we're looking at flights on or after March 18, 1965. As far as I can tell, the answer is "no", for reasonable values of "spacecraft" and "configured for a spacewalk".

Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle were all capable of performing EVA: they had systems for performing a controlled depressurization, a hatch that could be opened and closed in flight, and air reserves to repressurize. Any given mission might not have the ability to perform EVA (eg. because the crew aren't equipped with appropriate suits), but the spacecraft were capable of it.

SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo are incapable of EVA, but since they are strictly suborbital, this lack of capability isn't very interesting.

On the Russian/Soviet side of things, all generations of the Soyuz and the related Chinese Shenzhou space capsules appear to be EVA-capable. Much like Gemini and Apollo, they depressurize the entire spacecraft for EVA.

Prior to your starting date, the Mercury spacecraft were fundamentally incapable of EVA: the hatch was bolted in place after the astronaut entered. The Soviet Vostok craft appear to have had the same restrictions. Voskhod 1 relied on air circulation to keep equipment cool; depressurizing it for EVA would have caused overheating. Other than that, every spacecraft that has carried humans into orbit has at least in theory been capable of performing a spacewalk.

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  • $\begingroup$ But the first EVA ever was done from Voskhod 2 without depressurizing it. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Apr 16 '19 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Uwe, Voskhod 2 had an airlock. Voskhod 1 didn't. $\endgroup$ – Mark Apr 16 '19 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ I was curious if on STS-1 they were equipped to do something like go out and hammer on a stuck door mechanism with a wrench. Turns out there was a procedure in place to go out and manually winch the doors shut - which would presumably have endured the whole program en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STS-1 $\endgroup$ – Chris Stratton Apr 16 '19 at 23:24

Generally the question is, does the vehicle have an airlock.

The Space Shuttle was probably the only one that had a truly dedicated airlock.

Soyuz with two habitable modules, could depressurize the orbital module then open the outer hatch for space walks. Does that count as an airlock? Maybe, but a bit fuzzy. (The Chinese Shen Zou is very similar to the Soyuz).

Thus the question is, if there is no airlock, can you depressurize the vehicle so you can open the only hatch for an EVA. Or will that damage the vehicle? Are there sufficient air reserves to allow this?

Gemini just opened the hatch after depressurizing the vehicle. Voskhod had an inflatable airlock. (Vostok and Mercury did not do space walks I believe). (Hat top RusselB/Uwe!)

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    $\begingroup$ Vostok didn't do spacewalks; Voskhod had an inflatable airlock. Gemini and Apollo had to depressurize the command module. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Apr 16 '19 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ Alexei Leonov did the first spacewalk in history from Voskhod 2, see wikipedia. But I agree with Mercury. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Apr 16 '19 at 19:56

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