Alexei Leonov, the First Human to Walk in Space, Dies at 85


WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES, October 11, 2019 / - Former Soviet cosmonaut Alexi Leonov, A Space Age pioneer and the first human to perform an extravehicular activity, or spacewalk, died today, October 11, at the age of 85.

NASA said in a statement on Twitter it was saddened by Leonov's death. The cosmonaut who made history by exiting his capsule for 12 minutes nearly 54 years ago will be laid to rest next Tuesday at a federal military cemetery.

Leonov was twice awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title.

Alexei Leonov was the first man to walk in Space from Voshkod 2. Leonov struggled to re-enter the spacecraft because his space suit had ballooned beyond the diameter of the hatch.

After the top of the Chilly Battle, Leonov and Aldrin struck up a friendship, with each astronaut and cosmonaut calling for extra cooperation between Russian Federation and the U.S. in area, and sharing jokes throughout public appearances.

Mr Leonov was born in 1934 in a large peasant family in western Siberia.

Mr Leonov did not give up sketching even when he flew into space, and took colouring pencils with him on the Apollo-Soyuz flight in 1975 to draw.

Leonov was also supposed to be the first man to land on the moon.

"We had this tradition that he would give cosmonauts pep talks before they board the spacecraft", Kononenko said.

Former Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov in 2010.

Leonov recounted the handsome and harrowing experience of his spacewalk mission in the book Two Sides of the Moon, co-written with NASA Apollo astronaut David Scott.

Putin also congratulated Leonov at the time, calling him "a worthy representative of the legendary team of Soviet cosmonauts".

"The Cosmonaut ambassador to the world", Aldrin tweeted on Friday.

Roscosmos said Leonov would be buried Tuesday at a military memorial cemetery outside Moscow.