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Space Walkers



Space Walkers
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.83

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Anatoly, extra-vehicular, tether, opening, convertible, spaceship, maintenance, cosmonaut, radiator, pickup, spacecraft, pros, despite, locks, scientific, interesting
     content words:    Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong, Alexei Leonov, Soviet Union, Donald Pettit, Kenneth Bowersox, International Space Station, Anatoly Solovyov, Jerry Ross, Steven Smith


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     Spanish: Caminantes Espaciales


Space Walkers
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Many people can name the first American in space (Alan Shepard) or the first man to walk on the moon (Neil Armstrong). Not as many people can name the astronauts who set records for space walking. So many astronauts have completed a space walk now that the records go to those with the largest number of space walks, or the most total space walk hours.
 
2     All together, there have been over 100 space walks, or EVA's as NASA calls them. EVA stands for extra-vehicular activity, and that is exactly what a space walk is. An astronaut goes outside of his spaceship. Nothing but a special rope, called a tether, keeps him from floating away in space. The tether, about 55 feet long, is attached at one end to the astronaut and at the other end to a slide wire on the outside of the spaceship. This allows the astronaut as much freedom of movement as possible.
 
3     Space walking may seem like a really exciting job, but one astronaut called space walkers the construction workers of outer space. When an astronaut goes outside of his spacecraft, it is usually to repair or to build something on the outside of the spaceship. Sometimes it is a new piece of scientific equipment; sometimes it is just routine maintenance. When going for a space walk, astronauts wear a stiff, pressurized suit that weighs about 250 pounds. Just moving around in this suit is hard, tiring work. The astronaut must stay focused on his job every minute, because he has to keep track of his tether, and the tethers holding each and every tool and piece of equipment, at all times. After all, he is about 150 miles above the earth, and moving at a speed that is measured in miles per second!

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
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