Russian Space Pioneer Discusses the First Spacewalk in History 50 Years Ago

Former Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov relived the highlights of the spacewalk he conducted 50 years ago – the first spacewalk in history — during an interview with NASA Public Affairs Officer Rob Navias in Moscow in May 2014. Leonov, who is now 80 years old, stepped out of his Voskhod 2 spacecraft on March 18, 1965 for a 12-minute spacewalk to test his spacesuit and maneuverability. He was followed two months later by American astronaut Edward White, who performed the first U.S. spacewalk in history during the Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965. Leonov went on to command the Soyuz 19 spacecraft that conducted the first docking with an American space vehicle — the Apollo spacecraft commanded by Thomas Stafford — during the historic Apollo-Soyuz Test Project 40 years ago in July 1975.

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