Published: 18th March 2021
#ThrowBackToday: It was 56 years ago today when the first human walked in space. And nearly died while doing so
In today's #TBT, we introduce you to Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov. Some of you might already know him as the first man to walk in space. Did you know he came very close to losing his life for it?
When we ask, 'Who's the first man to walk in space?'. You might immediately say, Neil Armstrong! That's when we would urge you to read the question again. Who was the first man to walk 'in space'? Because it was Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov who became the first person to walk in space on March 18, 1965. For a full 12 minutes!
"It was so quiet I could even hear my heartbeat. I was surrounded by stars and was floating without much control. I will never forget the moment. I also felt an incredible sense of responsibility," the cosmonaut said. He was on the Voskhod 2 mission when he had the opportunity to exit the spacecraft for extravehicular activity (EVA) while being connected to a tether. Did you know that he would have become the first man to walk the moon as well? But that part of the mission was cancelled.
READ ALSO: Mars may be hiding most of its missing' water underground: NASA-funded study
But this title came at a great cost. Because the challenge was not the spacewalk, but getting back to the aircraft. But when Leonov did overcome that challenge, on their return journey to Earth, the spacecraft malfunctioned. They landed off course by hundreds of kilometres and spent two long days in a remote area, almost freezing to death. But this too he survived and went on to dedicate many years to astronomy.