Fifty years since first spacewalk - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Fifty years since first spacewalk

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Fifty years ago, there was a milestone in space.

On June 3, 1965, Major Edward White became the first American astronaut to perform a spacewalk.

He carefully exited the "Gemini 4" capsule while in orbit, and stepped out into the vacuum with only an eight-foot tether keeping him secure.

White maneuvered freely for about 23 minutes, before re-entering the spacecraft.

While white was the first American to space-walk, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Lavov performed the feat three months earlier.

Tragically, White would lose his life two years later in the Apollo One disaster. A spacecraft fire during a pre-launch test killed White and two other astronauts.

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