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First human to walk in outer space

May 30, 2014, 10:56 UTC+3
The first man ever to conduct a spacewalk, Alexei Leonov, turns 80 today
1 pages in this article
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Alexei Leonov's family in Kaliningrad in 1950. The future cosmonaut is on the very left
Alexei Leonov's family in Kaliningrad in 1950. The future cosmonaut is on the very left
Alexei Leonov's family in Kaliningrad in 1950. The future cosmonaut is on the very left
© Fotokhronika TASS
Leonov (left) with a class mate at school in 1952
Leonov (left) with a class mate at school in 1952
Leonov (left) with a class mate at school in 1952
© Fotokhronika TASS
Alexei Leonov during training to become a pilot in 1956
Alexei Leonov during training to become a pilot in 1956
Alexei Leonov during training to become a pilot in 1956
© Fotokhronika TASS
Legendary pilot cosmonauts at the military research and space training facility known as Star City. Left to right: Andriyan Nikolayev, Valentina Tereshkova, Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov
Legendary pilot cosmonauts at the military research and space training facility known as Star City. Left to right: Andriyan Nikolayev, Valentina Tereshkova, Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov
Legendary pilot cosmonauts at the military research and space training facility known as Star City. Left to right: Andriyan Nikolayev, Valentina Tereshkova, Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Leonov during his preflight training
Leonov during his preflight training
Leonov during his preflight training
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Alexei Leonov with his daughter Oksana in 1964
Alexei Leonov with his daughter Oksana in 1964
Alexei Leonov with his daughter Oksana in 1964
© ITAR-TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
The legendary spacewalk
The legendary spacewalk
The legendary spacewalk
© Fotokhronika TASS
The legendary spacewalk
The legendary spacewalk
The legendary spacewalk
© ITAR-TASS/Archive
Alexei Leonov in 1965
Alexei Leonov in 1965
Alexei Leonov in 1965
© ITAR-TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Soviet cosmonauts Valentin Bykovsky (left), Alexei Leonov, Yuri Gagarin and German Titov reading the Amerika magazine during a break in their training
Soviet cosmonauts Valentin Bykovsky (left), Alexei Leonov, Yuri Gagarin and German Titov reading the Amerika magazine during a break in their training
Soviet cosmonauts Valentin Bykovsky (left), Alexei Leonov, Yuri Gagarin and German Titov reading the Amerika magazine during a break in their training
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Ceremony of meeting the crew of the Voskhod 2 flight. Pavel Belyayev is left and Alexei Leonov right
Ceremony of meeting the crew of the Voskhod 2 flight. Pavel Belyayev is left and Alexei Leonov right
Ceremony of meeting the crew of the Voskhod 2 flight. Pavel Belyayev is left and Alexei Leonov right
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Members of the first crew of the Soyuz spaceship Valery Kubasov and Alexei Leonov at a training center in 1975
Members of the first crew of the Soyuz spaceship Valery Kubasov and Alexei Leonov at a training center in 1975
Members of the first crew of the Soyuz spaceship Valery Kubasov and Alexei Leonov at a training center in 1975
© Fotokhronika TASS/Albert Pushkaryov
Alexei Leonov in 1975
Alexei Leonov in 1975
Alexei Leonov in 1975
© Fotokhronika TASS/Albert Pushkaryov
The legendary cosmonaut is also an artist. He is the author of about 200 art pieces. Photo: Alexei Leonov at work in 1979
The legendary cosmonaut is also an artist. He is the author of about 200 art pieces. Photo: Alexei Leonov at work in 1979
The legendary cosmonaut is also an artist. He is the author of about 200 art pieces. Photo: Alexei Leonov at work in 1979
© Fotokhronika TASS/Albert Pushkaryov
Leonov signs one of his works in France, 1966
Leonov signs one of his works in France, 1966
Leonov signs one of his works in France, 1966
© Keiston/Fotokhronika TASS
Leonov during voluntary Saturday work at a car factory
Leonov during voluntary Saturday work at a car factory
Leonov during voluntary Saturday work at a car factory
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Sobolev
Alexei Leonov in 2010
Alexei Leonov in 2010
Alexei Leonov in 2010
© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Filippov
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Alexei Leonov's family in Kaliningrad in 1950. The future cosmonaut is on the very left
© Fotokhronika TASS
Leonov (left) with a class mate at school in 1952
© Fotokhronika TASS
Alexei Leonov during training to become a pilot in 1956
© Fotokhronika TASS
Legendary pilot cosmonauts at the military research and space training facility known as Star City. Left to right: Andriyan Nikolayev, Valentina Tereshkova, Yuri Gagarin and Alexei Leonov
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Leonov during his preflight training
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Alexei Leonov with his daughter Oksana in 1964
© ITAR-TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
The legendary spacewalk
© Fotokhronika TASS
The legendary spacewalk
© ITAR-TASS/Archive
Alexei Leonov in 1965
© ITAR-TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Soviet cosmonauts Valentin Bykovsky (left), Alexei Leonov, Yuri Gagarin and German Titov reading the Amerika magazine during a break in their training
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Ceremony of meeting the crew of the Voskhod 2 flight. Pavel Belyayev is left and Alexei Leonov right
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Cheredintsev
Members of the first crew of the Soyuz spaceship Valery Kubasov and Alexei Leonov at a training center in 1975
© Fotokhronika TASS/Albert Pushkaryov
Alexei Leonov in 1975
© Fotokhronika TASS/Albert Pushkaryov
The legendary cosmonaut is also an artist. He is the author of about 200 art pieces. Photo: Alexei Leonov at work in 1979
© Fotokhronika TASS/Albert Pushkaryov
Leonov signs one of his works in France, 1966
© Keiston/Fotokhronika TASS
Leonov during voluntary Saturday work at a car factory
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Sobolev
Alexei Leonov in 2010
© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Filippov

Alexei Leonov was born on May 30 1934. In 1960, he was admitted to the first Soviet cosmonaut group.

On May 18-19, 1965, together with Pavel Belyayev, Leonov took part in the Voskhod 2 flight as second pilot.

During the mission, Alexei Leonov conducted extra-vehicular activity, exiting the capsule for the first ever spacewalk which lasted 12 minutes and nine seconds. He moved five meters away from the capsule.

An emergency situation occurred during the spacewalk, when Leonov's spacesuit inflated the vacuum of space and became too big to fit the airlock. Opening the valve to lower the pressure, the cosmonaut managed to get back into the capsule, though he did it the wrong way, getting in with his head first. Alexei Leonov's life in this photo gallery by ITAR-TASS.

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