pavel belyayev

“Astronaut David Scott, 35, turns to a Russian interpreter for help in explaining the Apollo spacecraft to Soviet cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev, 41 (left), at the Paris Air Show in May-June, 1967. Scott says Belyayev was ‘extremely knowledgeable and very interested in the spacecraft, but he thought it was very small.’ In March, 1966, Scott and Neil Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space. Belyayev commanded the March, 1965, space mission on which Alexi Leonov became the first man to walk in space.”


Spacewalking at 50 - Mankind’s first walk in space. 18 March, 1965

It’s hard to imagine spaceflight without spacewalking. Apollo astronauts needed to do it to explore the moon. Space Shuttle astronauts needed to do it to repair satellites, and the International Space Station could have never been competed without performing them.

Yet, before all this, there was a time when man had yet to leave the protective environment of his space capsule. Fifty years ago today, on 18 March, 1965, Alexei Leonov left his Voskhod 2 spacecraft to perform humanity’s first-ever extra-vehicular activity.

For 12 minutes and 9 seconds, Leonov floated free of his space capsule, connected only by his oxygen tether, a proverbial umbilical cord that kept him connected to the mothership. His view of the world was unlike one man had ever experienced before - when Leonov floated out of the airlock, the first thing he saw was the Black sea, Crimea, Romania, and all of Italy.

Leonov’s spacewalk went smoothly for the first eight minutes, when the cosmonaut began to notice signs of inflation in his suit. His Berkut space suit had stiffened considerably, making movements for Leonov difficult. Without suit dexterity, it would be difficult, if not downright impossible, to reenter the Volga airlock attached to the side of the spacecraft.

To Leonov, the only solution was to bleed a little bit of oxygen out of his suit in an attempt to make it more dexterous. He chose not to tell mission controllers in Russia as it would have only caused panic. Ultimately, only Leonov could have helped himself, as nothing on the ground could have.

Back inside the airlock, his fellow cosmonaut and Commander of Voskhod 2 Pavel Belyayev equalized air pressure and Leonov removed his suit. The mission’s return to Earth was also troublesome; difficulty in maneuvering within the cabin with pressure suits on caused Voskhod’s center of gravity not to be established at the correct time. This caused the spacecraft to land almost 250 miles off course, forcing the two men to spend two nights in the frigid Siberian Taiga.

The mission of Voskhod 2 opened the door for mankind’s future in the cosmos. It showed us, even if briefly, that an astronaut could work free of his spacecraft. Edward White’s spacewalk on Gemini 4 three months later gave the American space program a similar boost, and the art of EVA was mastered by the end of the program.

Today, crew members on board the International Space Station perform spacewalks every few months to replace a malfunctioning part, collect an experiment, or reconfigure machinery. It’s a vital aspect of station upkeep, and one that would not be possible without Leonov’s first steps 50 years ago today.

“Время Первых” - ахуенный фильм.

Сразу стоит обговорить тот момент, что шиперю я образы, созданные Мироновым и Хабенским с его огромными очень грустными глазами, а не реальных Леонова и Беляева, ок?

К живому по сей день Леонову я испытываю глубочайшее уважение и трепет. Рыдал над документалкой, где он лично всё рассказывал.


“Breathe evenly.”

Russian movie about  Alexey Leonov and his friend/commander  Pavel Belyayev and their great mission

“Hello there, comrade!” Here’s Pavel “Exceptionally Happy” Belyayev, celebrating the successful Voskhod 2 mission. On the left you can also see Alexei Leonov’s hand, who is looking as cheerful and huggable as usual, but the scanner couldn’t get any more than his hand.

9/22/65: “American astronaut Gordon Cooper (left), pilot of the Gemini V spacecraft, and Soviet cosmonaut Pavel Belyayev, who flew Russia’s Voskhod II, toast each other at the International Astronautical Congress in Athens recently. Cooper and his co-pilot, Charles Conrad, attended the congress at the start of their international goodwill tour.”

well this is awkward