Astronomy and Space


Who were the first man and woman to walk in space?

On March 18, 1965, the Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov (1934–) became the first person to walk in space when he spent ten minutes outside his Voskhod2 spacecraft. The first woman to walk in space was Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya (1947–), who, during her second flight aboard the Soyuz T–12 (July 17, 1984), performed 3.5 hours of extravehicular activity.

The first American to walk in space was Edward White II (1930–1967) from the spacecraft Gemini 4 on June 3, 1965. White spent 22 minutes floating free attached to the Gemini by a lifeline. The photos of White floating in space are perhaps some of the most familiar of all space shots. Kathryn D. Sullivan (1951–) became the first American woman to walk in space when she spent 3.5 hours outside the Challenger orbiter during the space shuttle mission 41G on October 11, 1984.

American astronaut Bruce McCandless II (1937–) performed the first untethered space walk from the space shuttle Challenger on February 7, 1984, using an MMU (manual maneuvering unit) backpack.


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