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Space Exploration - 23

First Man to Walk in Space!

Leonov gently pushed himself away from the spaceship, and drifted out as far as his lifeline would allow. If it broke he would drift forever into endless space. Slowly the 5-metre cable stretched to its full length, and stopped. Leonov floated at its free end and performed acrobatics, some times facing the immensity of space; sometimes gazing down at Mother Earth spinning below him. All the while he was in free fall along with Voshkod, both were traveling at immense speed but there was no air going past Leonov to tell him how fast he was going, and as he was in free fall he was weightless. For the 10 minutes that he was outside, Leonov was a living satellite of Earth. Scientists had long wondered what sort of an effect such a situation would have on a man. Some had predicted that the spaceman would become so unnerved that he would become incapable of doing any useful work, such as carrying out repairs on the spaceship. However no such thing happened to Leonov. He remained in full command of his senses throughout, and in fact seemed in no hurry to return even when his partner Belyayev told him to get back in.
He had some difficulty in re-entering the capsule. The pressure difference between the air in his spacesuit and the vacuum of space had expanded his spacesuit and made it rigid. He had to let out some air from the spacesuit before he could enter the airlock. Upon entering the airlock headfirst, Leonov encountered another problem: how to turn upright to close the hatch of the airlock behind him. The airlock was about 120 cm in diameter while Leonov’s height in his spacesuit was around 190 cm.
“ I literally had to fold myself to do it,” explained Leonov, later, who at that time became so stressed that his spacesuit filled with sweat almost up to his ankles.
But finally the cosmonaut closed the hatch, pressurized the airlock and rejoined Belyayev.


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Dimdima is the Sanskrit word for ‘drumbeat’. In olden days, victory in battle was heralded by the beat of drums or any important news to be conveyed to the people used to be accompanied with drumbeats.

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Dimdima.com, the Children's Website of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan launched in 2000 and came out with a Printed version of Dimdima Magazine in 2004. At present the Printed Version have more than 35,000 subscribers from India and Abroad.

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