18.03.

1965: What did the First Human Spacewalk Look Like

1965: What did the First Human Spacewalk Look Like
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 18 March 1965
  • Going outside the spacecraft was not without problems. Namely, the space suit became so inflated because of the difference in pressure that Leonov barely re-entered the airlock.

On this day, for the first time in the history of mankind, an astronaut conducted a spacewalk, i.e. left the spacecraft and stayed there wearing only a space suit. This historic walk was made by the Soviet astronaut (“cosmonaut”) Alexei Leonov. The Soviets, therefore, managed to overtake the Americans in this as well, just as in the case of the first satellite (Sputnik-1) and the first man launched into space (Yuri Gagarin).

Alexei Leonov was outside the spacecraft for 12 minutes and nine seconds. The spacecraft was called Voshod 2 and was in orbit several hundred kilometers above the Earth’s surface. When Leonov exited Voshod 2, he was located approximately over southern Egypt and northern Sudan, and when he returned 12 minutes later, he was already over eastern Siberia. His spacesuit model was called Berkut (Russian name for species of eagle, the so-called Golden Eagle) and had  a backpack that weighed 41.5 kg.

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Of course, in a state of weightlessness, that mass did not constitute such a burden to carry. Going outside the spacecraft was not without problems. Namely, the space suit became so inflated because of the difference in pressure that Leonov barely re-entered the airlock. The first American spacewalk was performed on 3 June of that same year, so they were about two and a half months behind the Soviets.

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