Courtesy: Geo Child Magazine
Many of us have a dream of walking in space. It is possible and it happens. The spacewalks let astronauts work outside their spacecraft while still in space.
Astronauts can do science experiments on a spacewalk and the spacewalk lets scientists learn how being in space affects different things. But, do you know when the first spacewalk happened and who was the first man to go on a spacewalk?
The first man to walk into space
Alexei Leonov of Russia (was known as the Soviet Union then) was the first man to have a spacewalk. It happened on March 18, 1965. The Soviet Union had sent the Voskhod 2 mission into space. The Vostok-based Voskhod 3KD spacecraft with two crew members on board, Pavel Belyayev, and Alexei Leonov,
The Voskhod 3KD spacecraft had an inflatable airlock extended in orbit. Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov donned a spacesuit and left the spacecraft while the other cosmonaut of the two-man crew, Pavel Belyayev, remained inside. Leonov began his spacewalk 90 minutes into the mission at the end of the first orbit. Cosmonaut Leonov’s spacewalk lasted 12 minutes and 9 seconds, beginning over north-central Africa (northern Sudan/southern Egypt), and ending over eastern Siberia.
Difficulties during the space mission
Though Leonov was able to complete his spacewalk successfully, both that task and the overall mission were plagued with problems. Leonov’s only tasks were to attach a camera to the end of the airlock to record his spacewalk and to photograph the spacecraft. He managed to attach the camera without any problem. However, when he tried to use the still camera on his chest, the suit had ballooned and he was unable to reach down to the shutter switch on his leg.
After his 12 minutes and 9 seconds outside the Voskhod, Leonov found that his suit had stiffened, due to ballooning out, to the point where he could not re-enter the airlock. He was forced to bleed off some of his suit’s pressure, in order to be able to bend the joints, eventually going below safety limits.
The two crew members subsequently experienced difficulty in sealing the hatch properly due to thermal distortion caused by Leonov’s lengthy troubles returning to the craft, followed by a troublesome re-entry in which malfunction of the automatic landing system forced the use of its manual backup.
How much one can walk in space?
Nowadays, the astronauts go on spacewalks outside the International Space Station. Their spacewalks usually last between five and eight hours, depending on the job. The world record for the most spacewalks is held by Russian astronaut Anatoly Solovyev. He has been on 16 spacewalks. Those spacewalks equal more than 82 hours outside in space.
How Do Astronauts Go on Spacewalks?
When astronauts go on spacewalks, they wear spacesuits to keep themselves safe. Inside spacesuits, astronauts have the oxygen they need to breathe. They have the water they need to drink. Astronauts put on their spacesuits several hours before a spacewalk. The suits are pressurized. This means that the suits are filled with oxygen.
So, the sky is never a limit for those who dream and try to fulfill them. If you have such, try to fulfill it. All it needs is good health, education, training, and overall a will to go into the space.