Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov dies

Federico Mansilla
Octubre 12, 2019

Alexei #Leonov, a decorated Russian veteran #cosmonaut and the first man to have carried out a #spacewalk back in 1965, passed away in Moscow at the age of 85.

The cosmonaut made history in 1965, when he stepped outside his spacecraft for just over 12 minutes and floated around, attached by a tether.

Leonov was born in 1934 in the former Soviet Union.

Alexei Leonov was the first man to walk in Space from Voshkod 2.

Leonov also was the Russian commander of the Apollo-Soyuz joint space mission in 1975, a prelude to the worldwide cooperation seen aboard the current space station.

On Twitter, Nasa added: "His venture into the vacuum of space began the history of extra-vehicular activity that makes today's Space Station maintenance possible". He and US astronaut David Scott co-authored the dual autobiography, "Two Sides of the Moon: Our Story of the Cold War Space Race", which explores the space race from both sides of the Iron Curtain.

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On the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975, Leonov met with United States astronauts in space and gave TV viewers tours of their respective crafts, the first time Soviet and USA cosmonauts collaborated in space.

The future cosmonaut had a strong artistic talent and even thought about going to art school before he enrolled in a pilot training course and, later, an aviation college.

"This is a loss for the whole planet", said Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko.

Leonov was also known as an author and painter, with some of his works used on Soviet postage stamps.

The cosmonaut turned 85 in May. Three months earlier, cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the world's first female spacewalker.

The memorial service and the funeral are expected to take place on 15 October, at the Federal Military Memorial Cemetery.

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