Pioneers of the Final Frontier – Smithsonian Celebrates 50 Years of Spacewalks
astronaut EVA

Imagine being Aleksei Leonov or Edward White in 1965. You are the first two men to ever conduct a spacewalk. The Smithsonian will take you back in time as part of its new exhibition, ‘Outside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extra-Vehicular Activity.’

Some of the pieces on display include the gold umbilical cord that attached Edward White to his spacecraft during his Gemini 4 flight.

Edward White found the experience of space walking amazing and had to be ordered back to his spacecraft. “I’m coming back in… and it’s the saddest moment of my life,” said White.

Aleksei Leonov’s space walk almost ended in disaster. After he left his spacecraft, his spacesuit ballooned in the vacuum of space. TV and radio broadcasts ended as mission planners scrambled to get Leonov safely back in his spacecraft. Leonov opened a valve to release the suit’s pressure and managed to get back in his spacecraft safely.

Another piece on display is the cover to the backpack Gene Cernan wore on the moon. Cernan holds a special place in history as the last man to walk on the moon.

Gene Cernan’s boots are also on display. They have been displayed before at the Smithsonian, but this is the first time you can see the bottom of the boot that made the last footprint on the moon.

Tools throughout the history of EVA are featured heavily in the exhibit including cameras, watches, checklists and more.

You will also be able to see how gloves evolved from the early days of EVA to the shuttle missions.

You can check out ‘Outside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extra-Vehicular Activity’ now through June 8.

The online exhibition has tons of great info and videos of EVAs.

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