Exactly 55 years ago, man first went into space

Exactly 55 years ago, on March 18, 1965, the Russian cosmonaut Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov made the first spacewalk in history. “Attention! You went into space – these words of the master of the ship “Voskhod-2” Pavel Ivanovich Belyaev informed the world about the epoch-making event.

The Voskhod launch vehicle with the crew of the Voskhod-2 spacecraft was launched on March 18, 1965 at 10:00 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Alexei Arkhipovich left the spacecraft 1 hour and 35 minutes after launch (at the beginning of the second orbit). He was in outer space for 23 minutes 41 seconds, and outside the airlock in outer space – 12 minutes and 9 seconds.

During his return to the ship, Alexei Leonov experienced unforeseen difficulties: the swollen spacesuit did not pass through Voskhod’s airlock. Only the release of the oxygen pressure in the spaceship and the astronaut’s heroic efforts made it possible to then complete the flight safely.

To enter outer space, the Berkut spacecraft was developed with a multilayer hermetic shell, with the help of which overpressure was maintained inside, which ensured the astronaut’s normal life. Outside, the space suit had a special white coating to protect it from the thermal effects of sunlight and from any mechanical damage to the sealed part of the space suit. Both crew members were equipped with spacesuits so that the spacecraft commander could, if necessary, assist the astronaut who went into space.

The first spacewalk, performed by Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov, became another starting point for world cosmonautics. Largely thanks to the experience of this flight, space walks are now the standard procedure for long-term missions to the International Space Station.

Today, during space walks, scientific research, repair work, installation of new equipment on the station’s outer surface, launch of small satellites and a number of other operations are carried out. On the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the event, SP Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia released a short film:

Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov died in Moscow on October 11, 2019 at the age of 86. Many films have been devoted to his spacewalk. Recent examples include the feature film The Time of the First from 2017, in which the role of A. Leonov was played by actor Yevgeny Mironov. Apple also released the 2019 series “For the sake of all mankind” for its Apple TV + service, where Alexei Arkhipovich became the first person to land on the moon, as part of an alternative story.

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