The inside story of the world's first spacewalk, by Alexi Leonov, on March 18, 1965.
I remember first hearing the news of this, when I was just 12. At that point I was deeply interested in the manned space program, and I (like many Americans) was keenly interested in seeing our astronauts do something before the Soviet cosmonauts did. I had built a model of the Gemini spacecraft, and I was intimately familiar with both it and the Atlas-Agena rockets that Gemini would practice rendezvous with. The Soviets always seemed to be one step ahead of us. NASA had announced that Ed White (later killed in the Apollo 1 inferno) was in training for a spacewalk, and we hoped that that would be the occasion when the Americans finally did something first in space. So when we heard the news about Leonov's spacewalk, it was deeply disappointing. Of course, back then we had no idea whatsoever of the backstory – all we knew was that the damned “Rooskies” had beaten us again...
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