Alexei Leonov, first man to walk in space, dies in Moscow

  • Alexei Leonov, first man to walk in space, dies in Moscow

Alexei Leonov, first man to walk in space, dies in Moscow

Leonov was also supposed to be the first man to land on the moon.

Astronauts aboard the ISS plan to conduct eight more spacewalks in the coming three months, a record cadence since the assembly of the space station was completed in 2011, according to NASA.

They wore placards on their spacesuit backpacks, one saying "Leonov No. 1" and the other "Happy Birthday, Alexey Arkhipovich".

He was the commander on his second space flight on July 15, 1975, when the Soviet Soyuz-19 docked with a NASA Apollo spacecraft.

He would go on to lead the Soviet part of the Soyuz-Apollo mission, which 10 years later became the first joint space mission with the US. Leonov was later to have commanded two Salyut space station missions that were also scrubbed due to hardware mishaps. The duo will spend 6.5 hours swapping out the International Space Station's batteries with newer, lithium-ion batteries.

On the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975, Leonov met with United States astronauts in space and gave TV viewers tours of their respective crafts, the first time Soviet and USA cosmonauts collaborated in space.

"We were going to stop by Alexei Arkhipovich (Leonov) after our return and give him our space souvenirs, but you see it wasn't meant to be", Kononenko said.

Messages of condolences poured in from around the globe following news of his death.

Leonov was head of the cosmonaut corps until January 1982 and became deputy director of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Moscow - known as "Star City".

"His venture into the vacuum of space began the history of extravehicular activity that makes today's Space Station maintenance possible", it said.

Roscosmos said Mr Leonov's funeral will take place on Tuesday at a military cemetery outside Moscow.