Photos: Alexei Leonov, the first human to walk in space, passes away at 85

Alexei Leonov, a legendary Soviet cosmonaut who was the first man to perform a spacewalk in 1965, died in Moscow on Friday aged 85 after a long illness. Born in Siberia, the youngest of eight children, Leonov became a fighter pilot before being selected as one of the first potential cosmonauts. He was a friend of Yuri Gagarin, who became the first man in space in 1961 and trained with him. On March 18, 1965, at the age of 30, he made history when he left a spacecraft during the Voskhod 2 mission for a spacewalk that lasted 12 minutes and nine seconds. Post his death, tributes have poured in from across the globe, with western space agencies and experts praising Leonov's contribution and admirers bidding him farewell.

Updated On Oct 12, 2019 03:22 PM IST
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Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov speaks in Moscow on March 26, 1965. Leonov was the first human to walk in space after he stepped out from the Voskod-2 spaceship on March 18th the same year. He died in Moscow yesterday after a long illness, aged 85. Leonov became a legend at home and his feats were immortalised in cinema and literature. A crater on the far side of the Moon was named after Leonov in 1970. (AP File)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 03:22 PM IST

Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov speaks in Moscow on March 26, 1965. Leonov was the first human to walk in space after he stepped out from the Voskod-2 spaceship on March 18th the same year. He died in Moscow yesterday after a long illness, aged 85. Leonov became a legend at home and his feats were immortalised in cinema and literature. A crater on the far side of the Moon was named after Leonov in 1970. (AP File)

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During the Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965, right after Leonov’s historic spacewalk, Ed White became the first American to conduct a spacewalk. The spacewalk started at 3:45 p.m. EDT on the third orbit when White opened the hatch and used the hand-held manoeuvring oxygen-jet gun to push himself out of the capsule. The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes, ending over the Gulf of Mexico. (NASA)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 03:22 PM IST

During the Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965, right after Leonov’s historic spacewalk, Ed White became the first American to conduct a spacewalk. The spacewalk started at 3:45 p.m. EDT on the third orbit when White opened the hatch and used the hand-held manoeuvring oxygen-jet gun to push himself out of the capsule. The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes, ending over the Gulf of Mexico. (NASA)

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Commander of the Soviet crew of Soyuz, Alexei Leonov (L) and commander of the US crew of Apollo, Thomas Stafford, shake hands after the Apollo-Soyuz docking manoeuvres on July 17, 1975. A decade after his spacewalk, Leonov commanded the Soyuz 19 spacecraft which docked with the US Apollo spacecraft in the first joint space mission between the Soviet Union and the United States. (AFP File)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 03:22 PM IST

Commander of the Soviet crew of Soyuz, Alexei Leonov (L) and commander of the US crew of Apollo, Thomas Stafford, shake hands after the Apollo-Soyuz docking manoeuvres on July 17, 1975. A decade after his spacewalk, Leonov commanded the Soyuz 19 spacecraft which docked with the US Apollo spacecraft in the first joint space mission between the Soviet Union and the United States. (AFP File)

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Leonov works at the main assembly department of the ZiL (”Zavod Imeni Likhachyova,” or Likhachyov Factory) car plant during a day of unpaid labour, in Moscow, on April 22, 1982. Leonov’s historic spacewalk lasted 12 minutes and nine seconds. The flight and spacewalk were successful on the whole but his return to earth nearly ended in tragedy when Leonov and another cosmonaut, Pavel Belyayev, crash-landed in Siberian woods. (AFP File)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 03:22 PM IST

Leonov works at the main assembly department of the ZiL (”Zavod Imeni Likhachyova,” or Likhachyov Factory) car plant during a day of unpaid labour, in Moscow, on April 22, 1982. Leonov’s historic spacewalk lasted 12 minutes and nine seconds. The flight and spacewalk were successful on the whole but his return to earth nearly ended in tragedy when Leonov and another cosmonaut, Pavel Belyayev, crash-landed in Siberian woods. (AFP File)

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Retired NASA astronaut Thomas Stafford (L) and retired cosmonaut Alexei Leonov visit an exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the first man in space, in Moscow, on April 11, 2011. Born in Siberia, the youngest of eight children, Leonov became a fighter pilot before being selected as one of the first potential cosmonauts. He was a friend of Yuri Gagarin, who became the first man in space in 1961 and trained with him. (Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP File)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 03:22 PM IST

Retired NASA astronaut Thomas Stafford (L) and retired cosmonaut Alexei Leonov visit an exhibition dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the first man in space, in Moscow, on April 11, 2011. Born in Siberia, the youngest of eight children, Leonov became a fighter pilot before being selected as one of the first potential cosmonauts. He was a friend of Yuri Gagarin, who became the first man in space in 1961 and trained with him. (Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP File)

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Leonov and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on July 14, 2013. Leonov was an accomplished artist and writer and his contemporaries described him as warm and likable. He is survived by his widow Svetlana and his younger daughter Oksana. Putin sent his condolences to Leonov’s widow and daughter, calling him a “true trailblazer” and a “heroic person.” (Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik / Kremlin Pool / AP File)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 03:22 PM IST

Leonov and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on July 14, 2013. Leonov was an accomplished artist and writer and his contemporaries described him as warm and likable. He is survived by his widow Svetlana and his younger daughter Oksana. Putin sent his condolences to Leonov’s widow and daughter, calling him a “true trailblazer” and a “heroic person.” (Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik / Kremlin Pool / AP File)

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Leonov speaks with Yuri Gagarin’s widow Valentina during a reception marking a half century since Gagarin became the first human to go to outer space in 1961, in the Moscow Kremlin, on April 12, 2011. Leonov will be laid to rest at a cemetery just outside Moscow on Tuesday. (SPUTNIK / AFP File)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 03:22 PM IST

Leonov speaks with Yuri Gagarin’s widow Valentina during a reception marking a half century since Gagarin became the first human to go to outer space in 1961, in the Moscow Kremlin, on April 12, 2011. Leonov will be laid to rest at a cemetery just outside Moscow on Tuesday. (SPUTNIK / AFP File)

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