mercredi 18 mars 2015

50th Anniversary of the first human spacewalk

ROSCOSMOS - Voskhod 2 Mission patch.

March 18, 2015

In 1965 Leonov was the first man who performs e.v.a. Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov, Soviet/Russian cosmonaut who, on 18 March 1965, became the first human to walk in space for a 12 minutes spacewalk. The craft was the Voskhod 2 spacecraft.

Cosmonaut Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov

Voskhod 2 Mission:

Launch date: March 18, 1965
Landing site: Near Perm in the Ural mountains in heavy forest
Mass: 5,682 Kg

Voskhod 2 spacecraft description

The mission consisted of two cosmonauts: Pilot Pavel Belyayev and co-Pilot Alexei Leonov. This mission had many problems.

The first ever spacewalk was performed by Alexei Leonov. The space walk lasted about 20 minutes. Alexei had problems in re-entering the spacecraft because his space suit had enlarged slightly. He had to let air leak out of his space suit in order to squeeze back inside.

First human spacewalk

They landed off their target near Perm in the Ural mountains in heavy forest. The crew spent the night in the woods surrounded by wolves before being located. When the ground crew finally located them, it took a day to chop through the forest and recover them on skis.

Leonov was one of the 20 Soviet Air Force pilots selected to be part of the first cosmonaut group in 1960. Like all the Soviet cosmonauts, Leonov was a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. His walk in space was originally to have taken place on the Vostok 11 mission, but this was cancelled, and the historic event happened on the Voskhod 2 flight instead. He was outside the spacecraft for 12 minutes and nine seconds on 18 March 1965, connected to the craft by a 5.35-meter tether.

Pilot Pavel Belyayev and co-Pilot Alexei Leonov

At the end of the spacewalk, Leonov's spacesuit had inflated in the vacuum of space to the point where he could not re-enter the airlock. He opened a valve to allow some of the suit's pressure to bleed off and was barely able to get back inside the capsule. Leonov had spent eighteen months undergoing intensive weightlessness training for the mission.

As of today, Leonov is the last survivor of the five cosmonauts in the Voskhod programme.

Roscosmos Celebration Press Release (in Russian):

ЦПК: торжественные мероприятия, посвященные 50-летию первого выхода человека в открытый космос:

Звёздный городок отмечает 50-летие со дня первого выхода человека в открытый космос:

Images, Video, Text, Credits: ROSCOSMOS / Wikipedia / Aerospace.

Best regards,

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