Legendary Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, First Human to Walk in Space Has Died at Age 85
By CBS News // October 11, 2019
died after a long illness
ABOVE VIDEO: Russian Space Pioneer Discusses the First Spacewalk in History 50 Years Ago.
(CBS NEWS) – Legendary cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first human to walk in space — an experience that almost killed him — and later the commander of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that docked with a NASA Apollo capsule, symbolizing a historic thaw in the Cold War, has died after a long illness, the Russian space agency confirmed Friday.
He was 85.
An accomplished amateur artist and a widely respected statesman in the international space community, Leonov remained a lifelong friend of his Apollo-Soyuz Test Project crewmates and a source of inspiration to a younger generation of cosmonauts who carried his photo to the International Space Station and marked his 85th birthday during a spacewalk in May.
“Leonov was certainly a cosmonaut’s cosmonaut, he was stout of mind, body and heart,” James Oberg, an expert on the Russian space program, said in an interview with CBS Radio. “He came through as a real tough guy who could handle problems, including almost being killed on his first spacewalk. But he also was a very decent human being.”
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