In 1965, Alexei Leonov became the first human to walk in space. His historic spacewalk was fraught with danger and excitement, but it paved the way for future exploration of our universe. Here is a look at the life and accomplishments of this remarkable pioneer.
Alexei Leonov was born on May 30, 1934, in the small town of listvyanka, Siberia. His parents were peasants who worked hard to support their families. When Leonov was just six years old, his father died in a hunting accident. This tragedy profoundly affected young Alexei, and he vowed to become a cosmonaut and explore the universe like his hero, Yuri Gagarin.
As a child, Leonov attended school in a one-room schoolhouse. He was an excellent student and dreamed of attending university one day. However, the outbreak of World War II interrupted his studies. During the war, Leonov worked as a tractor driver and shoveled snow to help keep the roads clear. He also served in the Soviet Army, where he was wounded in battle.
After the war, Leonov finally had a chance to pursue his dream of becoming a cosmonaut. He attended the Military Pilot School and then the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. In 1960, he was selected to be part of the Soviet space program.
On March 18, 1965, Leonov made history when he became the first human to walk in space. His spacewalk lasted for 12 minutes and 9 seconds, but it was a nerve-wracking experience for both Leonov and his ground control team.
During the spacewalk, Leonov’s spacesuit began to swell up due to the lack of air pressure. This made it difficult for him to move, and he nearly became stuck outside the spacecraft. Leonov had to use a knife to cut a hole in his suit so that he could get back inside the airlock.
Despite the close call, Leonov’s spacewalk was a success. It proved that humans could survive and work in space, paving the way for future missions.
Following his successful spacewalk, Leonov served as commander of the Soyuz 9 mission in 1970. This was a milestone mission for the Soviet space program, as it marked the first time that humans had been able to live and work in space for an extended period of time. The Soyuz 9 crew set a new record for longest time spent in space, spending almost 18 days in orbit.
After his career as a cosmonaut, Leonov served as the deputy director of the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. He also worked as a consultant for the Russian space program and gave lectures about his experiences in space. In addition, he wrote several books about his life and career, including two autobiographies.
Alexei Leonov passed away on October 11, 2019, at the age of 85. He will be remembered as a brave pioneer who helped open up the frontier of space exploration. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations of astronauts and explorers. Thank you for reading! I hope you found this article interesting.