Space Programs

Early Soviet Programs

What were the first Voskhod missions?

Following one unmanned test flight, Voskhod 1 was launched on October 12, 1964, with three men aboard. It successfully returned to Earth after one day. Voskhod 2 was launched on March 18, 1965, and cosmonaut Alexei Leonov (1934–) made the first-ever human spacewalk during that flight. As Leonov and fellow cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev (1925–1970) were preparing to return to Earth, however, they noticed that their ship was pointed in the wrong direction. It took them another orbit to turn the spacecraft around, causing them to alter their landing site. The two crewmates parachuted to Earth in a remote region of the Ural Mountains, and they spent two days in the forest before rescue teams reached them. No further Voskhod missions ever took place, probably because the Soyuz program was close enough to completion that the Soviets decided to focus their energies there.


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