The President’s message reads, in part:
“Alexei Leonov was an outstanding person involved in Russian and global space exploration, a true pioneer and a strong-willed hero. He was always loyal to the job he chose and added exciting and legendary pages to the history of space conquest and the history of Russia.
Everyone who knew and sincerely respected this wonderful person will always have good memories of him.”
Alexei Leonov, aged 85, has passed away in Moscow.
The cosmonaut completed two space flights (7 days 33 minutes in total). The first mission took place on March 18–19, 1965, when Alexei Leonov was second pilot of the Voskhod 2 spacecraft commanded by Pavel Belyayev. On March 18, Alexei Leonov became the first person to conduct a spacewalk.
During his second mission on July 15–21, 1975, Alexei Leonov served as commander and took part in the first docking of two different countries’ spacecraft, Soyuz 19 (USSR) and Apollo 18 (USA), and the meeting and historic handshake in orbit of the two crews: Alexei Leonov, Valery Kubanov, Vance Brand, Thomas Stafford and Donald Slayton.