Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Happy birthday, Alexey Leonov (first EVA)!
Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov, born May 30, 1934, became the first human to step out of a capsule and take an extra-vehicular activity (EVA), walking in space. His historic event was scheduled to take place on Voskhod 1, but that was cancelled and rescheduled on Voskhod 2. Everything (almost) went as planned during the Voskhod 2 mission.
Leonov stepped through the hatch and spent the next 12 minutes in space. However, when he tried to re-enter the capsule, his spacesuit had ballooned so much from the air pressure inside, Leonov could not get through the hatchway. He had to vent some of the pressure so his suit would fit.
He was selected to be the first Russian man to step onto the moon, but that project was scrapped along with many other programs, due to failures, design problems or budget restraints. Leonov's second and last spaceflight was aboard Soyuz 19 as the commander of the Russian half of the historic meeting between the U.S. and Soviet Union, the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission.