Alexei Leonov, who performed the world

Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, Who Was First to Walk in Space, Dies at 85

Soviet-era cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, who in 1965 became the first person to walk in space before co-leading the first joint mission between Russia and the United States, has died at the age of 85.

Leonov died on Friday (Oct. 11) at the Burdenko military hospital in Moscow after a long illness.

“One of the first cosmonauts of the world space era, forever devoted to his country and his work, he inscribed himself in golden letters in the world history of space,” said Roscosmos, Russia’s federal space corporation, in a statement. “With Alexei Arkhipovich a whole era has gone.”

Selected alongside Yuri Gagarin among the first 20 Soviet Air Force pilots to train as cosmonauts in 1960, Leonov flew twice into space, logging a total of 7 days and 32 minutes off the planet.

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Alexei Leonov, who performed the world’s first spacewalk in 1965 and co-led the first joint mission between the U.S. and Russia, died on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in Moscow at age 85.

(Image Roscosmos)

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Archived image from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale report certifying the first spacewalk by Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov on March 18, 1965.

Archived image from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale report certifying the first spacewalk by Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov on March 18, 1965.

(Image FAI)

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In 1975, Leonov participated in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, which became the first crewed international spaceflight. This image from the flight shows Leonov with NASA astronaut Deke Slayton.

In 1975, Alexei Leonov (right) participated in the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, which became the first crewed international spaceflight. This image from the flight shows Leonov with NASA astronaut Deke Slayton.

(Image NASA)

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Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov aboard the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project with a sketch he made of one of his American crewmates.

Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov aboard the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project with a sketch he made of one of his American crewmates.

(Image NASA)

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Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin honor Alexei Leonov when conducting a spacewalk the day before his 85th birthday.

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin honor Alexei Leonov when conducting a spacewalk the day before his 85th birthday.

(Image …

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