MOSCOW: Alexei Leonov, who grew to become the primary human to stroll in area in 1965, died on Friday on the age of 85 after a protracted sickness, Russia’s TASS information company reported.
Although much less well-known internationally than Yuri Gagarin, the primary man in area, Leonov was a family identify in his native Russia and will probably be remembered particularly for his function within the 1965 Voskhod-2 mission.
Throughout that flight, one among two he made into area in his profession, Leonov grew to become the primary human to conduct a spacewalk, an episode that lasted 12 minutes and 9 seconds.
The outing was demanding for Leonov whose spacesuit crammed with air to the purpose the place he struggled to get again into his spacecraft.
Leonov flew into area once more in 1975, commanding the Soviet half of the Apollo-Soyuz mission, the primary US-Soviet area flight. It occurred at a time when Russia and america, which spent a part of the Chilly Struggle locked in an area race, had been pursuing a coverage of detente.
Leonov skilled as a navy pilot earlier than changing into a cosmonaut. He obtained a ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ medal – one of many Russian state’s most prestigious awards – twice and has a small crater on the Moon named after him.
Leonov helped practice different cosmonauts earlier than retiring in 1992, a yr after the Soviet Union collapsed. He devoted himself to non-public enterprise and his twin passions of artwork and writing in later life.
Russian President Vladimir Putin knew Leonov properly and had nice respect for his braveness, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned on Friday, TASS reported.
NASA mentioned in a press release on Twitter it was saddened by Leonov’s loss of life.
“His enterprise into the vacuum of area started the historical past of extravehicular exercise that makes immediately’s Area Station upkeep potential,” it mentioned.