Vostok 2 was a Soviet manned space mission in March 1965. Pavel Belyayev and Alexey Leonov, were equipped with an inflatable airlock. It established another milestone in space exploration when Alexey Leonov became the first person to leave the spacecraft in a specialized spacesuit to conduct a 12 minute “spacewalk”.
Although we now take for granted the long term success of the International Space Station, it wasn’t too long ago that we were totally earthbound. That changed on this day, October 12, 1964 when the Soviet Union launched the Voskhod 1 (Восхо́д), the first manned capsule to carry more than one person into space. The Voskhod program was a proof of concept program to test systems for more ambitious space exploration. The Voskhod program was notable for several firsts: the first multi-person mission to space (Cosmonauts Komarov, Yegorov and Feoktistov in the Voskhod 1) and the first space walk (Belyayev and Leonov in Voskhod 2). The Vostok and Voskhod programs provided the framework for what became the Soyuz program and ultimately the current ISS.
The Russian desire to ‘win’ the Space Race led to many dangerous compromises. The interior of the capsule (shown above) was so cramped that the cosmonauts would not have room for space suits, making the flight extremely dangerous in the event of depressurisation. To insure the engineers paid enough attention to this, head designer Sergei Korolev assigned the lead engineer to fly inside the capsule, therefore motivating him to design the safest capsule possible.
The Russian word Voskhod (Восхо́д) means sunrise and is a combination of the Russian words vos- (from vostok восток) meaning east and xodete (ходить) meaning go or rise.