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    Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov taking a space walk

    Into the Void: Remembering Alexey Leonov’s First Spacewalk

    © Sputnik / A. Sverdlov
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    On this day in 1965, Soviet cosmonaut Alexey Leonov became the first man in history to leave his spacecraft and conduct a spacewalk.

    Leonov together with his partner Pavel Belyayev were the two crew members during a Soviet manned space mission in 1965 on spacecraft Voskhod-2.

    During their mission, Alexey Leonov, then only 30 years old, ventured outside of Voskhod-2 spacecraft and stepped into the void, becoming the first person to walk [or rather float] in space. Leonov spent 12 minutes and 9 seconds floating in space attached to his ship by a cable.

    A peculiar albeit potentially dangerous scenario happened when Leonov was getting back into the spacecraft — his space suit became bloated and prevented Leonov from returning to Voskhod-2. To reenter the gateway of the spaceship, the cosmonaut had to release pressure from his suit and climb into the hatch of Voskhod-2 head first, as opposed to feet first, as it was described in a Soviet space manual.

    Leonov's spacewalk was an extraordinary achievement at a time when people were just beginning to understand space travel. The brave Soviet cosmonaut paved the way for future space discoveries and development — since Leonov's first spacewalk over two hundred cosmonauts have carried out extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) in space.

    Related:

    Cosmonaut Leonov Marks 50 Years Since Mankind's First Spacewalk
    Tags:
    spacewalk, Voskhod-2 spacecraft, Alexey Leonov, Russia
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