Today in History: First Spacewalk in 1965

Today in History: First Spacewalk in 1965

55 years ago today, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Leonov became the first human who exited a capsule during the Voskhod 2 mission for a 12-minute “walk” in outer space. At the time, the mission seemed to give the Soviet Union a triumphant win over the United States in the battle for space supremacy. Leonov was ordered to leave the spaceship through the airlock. Within minutes, the lack of atmospheric pressure caused his spacesuit to inflate like a balloon. Leonov could no longer fit through the airlock, making re-entry impossible. The cosmonaut had to reduce pressure in his suit by letting out valuable oxygen. In the end, Leonov barely made it back into the capsule alive. The Soviets kept the entire incident secret for years.

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