40 years of Soviet space conquest record:Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov first-ever space walk

March 18 marked the 40th anniversary of the first space walk. The Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov was the one who climbed out of the spacecraft and into open space for the first time in history.

In 1965 the Soviet spacecraft Voskhod-2 was orbiting the planet. The spacecraft's crew comprised Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyaev. Mr. Leonov spent 12 minutes and 9seconds floating in space. "The first thing I saw as the manhole cracked open was the bright light," said he in his interview to Argumenty i Fakty. He recalled an emergency of sorts that occurred while he was in open space. At one point the cosmonaut was unable to pass through the manhole back into the spacecraft because his spacesuit swelled up. Eventually he managed to bleed off the pressure and stepped inside.

The spacecraft's positioning system broke down during the reentry. The crew had to direct the spacecraft manually. As a result, they landed in the wrong place, in the taiga. They were found by a search party on the second day. The mission of Voskhod-2 lasted 26 hours and 2 minutes.

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