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Alexey Leonov

Alexey Leonov

Twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Major General of Aviation in the Reserve, pilot-cosmonaut of the USSR

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Biography

Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov is a test pilot, cosmonaut, artist, the first earthling who went into outer space, winner of many prizes and awards.

Childhood and youth

Alexei Leonov was born on May 30, 1934 in the village of Listvyanka. His grandfather was exiled here for participation in the events of 1905, a little later, the parents of the future cosmonaut, who had previously lived in the Donbass, also moved to Siberia. Alexei's father, Arkhip Alekseevich, had to change the profession of a miner to a peasant share, and his mother, Evdokia Minaevna, worked as a teacher.

There were many children in the Leonov family, Alexei was the youngest, the ninth child in a row. Family happiness and life were violated by Stalin's repressions. In 1936, Arkhip Leonov, a respected man, chairman of the village council, was arrested on false charges. The wife and children of the authorities were deprived of property and expelled from the house, and the children were forbidden to go to school. Fortunately, Leonov Sr. managed to survive in the camps, and in 1939 the father of a large family was acquitted and returned home.

By that time, Evdokia Minaevna, desperate to feed her children alone, having lost her job and shelter, moved to Kemerovo, to her eldest daughter. She had a room in the barracks, where for about a year the large Leonov family huddled. A year later, the father returned, and the family slowly began to rise to its feet. First, they were given two more rooms in the same barracks, and in 1948 Arkhip Alekseevich was assigned to a new job in Kaliningrad, where the Leonovs moved.

By the will of fate, little Alyosha went to school only at the age of 9, in Kemerovo. In elementary school, the boy became interested in drawing. Leonov graduated from high school already in Kaliningrad. By the time he received his certificate in 1953, Alexei had fully mastered the design of aircraft engines, aircraft and the theory of flight. The young man received this knowledge by reading the notes of his older brother, who once studied as an aviation technician.

1953 was a turning point in the biography and fate of the future cosmonaut: he hesitated in choosing professions between art and aviation. Alexey applied to the Riga Academy of Arts, but, having learned that students are provided with a hostel only from the third year of study, he left the first year.

Astronautics

After the failure with the Academy of Arts, Leonov entered the primary aviation school in Kremenchug, where the Komsomol recruitment was just being carried out. Upon completion of training in 1955, the young pilot continued his education at the Chuguev Aviation School, where he received the specialty of a fighter pilot. After graduating from college from 1957 to 1959, Alexei Leonov served in the tenth Guards Aviation Division in Kremenchug, from 1959 to 1960 - in Germany, as part of the Soviet troops.

In the autumn of 1959, Alexei Arkhipovich was destined to once again drastically change his fate. It was then that he met the head of the Cosmonaut Training Center (CTC), Colonel Karpov. At the first selection committee in Sokolniki, Leonov first met Yuri Gagarin , with whom he subsequently developed a strong friendship.

In 1960, Alexei Leonov was enrolled in a special detachment. This was followed by CPC courses and countless training sessions. In 1964, a design bureau led by Korolyov began building a new spacecraft that allowed astronauts to go out into the airless space. This ship was Voskhod-2.

Two crews were preparing for the flight. The core team included Alexei Lenov and Pavel Belyaev , their understudies were cosmonauts Khrunov and Gorbatko. The historic flight and the first manned spacewalk took place on March 18, 1965.

After the flight on Voskhod-2, Leonov was part of a group of cosmonauts who were trained for flight and landing on the moon, but in the end the program was closed. The next exit of Leonov into the earth's orbit took place in 1975, when the legendary docking of the Soviet Soyuz-19 spacecraft and the American Apollo was made.

In 1982-1991, Leonov was the first deputy head of the CPC, in 1992 he retired.

First spacewalk

The launch of the spacecraft from "Baikonur" was successful, and then the flight proceeded in the normal mode. It was planned that "Vostok-2" should make seventeen turns around the Earth. On the second orbit, Leonov was supposed to enter the airless space through a special airlock. That's how it all happened. Alexei's partner, the captain of the ship, Pavel Belyaev, remained on board and watched what was happening with the help of television cameras.

Alexei Leonov spent 12 minutes 9 seconds in outer space. The astronaut was filmed by two static cameras, another camera was in his hands. Along with the delight of what he saw and the significance of the accomplished feat, Alexei Arkhipovich also experienced unpleasant sensations.

It was unbearably hot in the spacesuit, sweat flooded his eyes, the astronaut began to have tachycardia, and his temperature rose. When returning to the ship, there were also problems. From being in a vacuum, Leonov's suit swelled up, and it was impossible to squeeze through the opening of the airlock. He had to bleed the pressure so that the volumes of the suit returned to normal. With his hands full of camera and tether, it wasn't easy.

Finally, the astronaut got into the airlock, but then another trouble awaited him. When the lock chamber was disconnected, the ship was depressurized. It was possible to solve this problem by supplying oxygen, as a result of which the crew began to oversaturate.

Having dealt with the malfunctions, the astronauts prepared to make an automatic landing in the normal mode, but that was not to be. The ship was supposed to go down on the seventeenth orbit around the Earth, but the system failed. Pavel Belyaev had to urgently take control. The captain kept within 22 seconds, but this time difference was enough for the crew to land 75 kilometers from the planned place. It happened 200 km from Perm, in the taiga, which made it very difficult for the search engines to work.

After four hours in the snow, in the cold, the astronauts were found by rescuers. The heroes were helped to get to the nearest wooden house in the forest, then they cleared a site for a helicopter landing, and only two days later the crew of Vostok-2 was safely evacuated and transported to Moscow.

In 2017, the film “ The Time of the First ” was released on the screens of the country, dedicated to the exploits and everyday life of the Soviet cosmonautics, with Konstantin Khabensky and Yevgeny Mironov in the lead roles.

Personal life

Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov met his future wife Svetlana in 1957. Three days after they met, they got married so as not to leave. The Leonovs had two daughters.

The eldest daughter Victoria (1961-1996) died from a severe sudden illness. The woman worked in the main department of the navy, and after returning from a business trip to America, she suddenly felt ill. Parents took their daughter to the capital's doctors, but they could not help. Victoria died of a severe form of hepatitis complicated by pneumonia.

The youngest daughter of Alexei and Svetlana Leonov Oksana was born in 1967. She works as a translator, is married, thanks to Oksana, the Leonovs have two grandchildren.

In addition to astronautics, Alexei Arkhipovich is also known as an artist. In adulthood, he found the same time for children's passion. Leonov is the author of two hundred paintings and five albums with reproductions. Among his works are cosmic and terrestrial landscapes, portraits of friends, fantastic stories. Leonov the artist loved to work in oils, watercolors and Dutch gouache.

Also, the Hero of the Soviet Union was fond of reading, cycling, fencing, hunting, tennis, basketball, photography and filming.

Until 2000, Leonov served as president of the Alfa Capital investment fund, then became vice president of the bank with the same name. In recent years, the astronaut lived near Moscow, in a house designed by himself.

Death

On October 11, 2019, Alexei Leonov died at the age of 86 . The last hours of the great cosmonaut spent in the hospital. Burdenko. Leonov's relatives have not yet told the press and admirers the cause of his death.

Merits

Alexey Arkhipovich is a holder of dozens of domestic and foreign awards, orders, and medals. The cosmonaut was an honorary citizen of 30 cities around the world, a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, an academician of the Russian Academy of Astronautics, he is a candidate of technical sciences.

Leonov is the author and co-author of scientific research and experiments. The following works are considered the most significant of them:

  • the development of a hydrolaboratory and the creation of a spacesuit for working in the hydrosphere (1966);
  • study of light and color characteristics of vision after space flight (1967);
  • the influence of space flight factors on the visual acuity of the pilot of the Buran complex (1980).
Bibliography

On account of Alexei Leonov books and scientific publications, including:

  • Space Pedestrian (1967);
  • "Solar Wind" (1969);
  • "Going out into outer space" (1970);
  • "Features of the psychological preparation of astronauts" (1967).

Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov[a] (30 May 1934 – 11 October 2019) was a Soviet and Russian cosmonaut, Air Force major general, writer, and artist.

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Biography

Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov is a test pilot, cosmonaut, artist, the first earthling who went into outer space, winner of many prizes and awards.

Childhood and youth

Alexei Leonov was born on May 30, 1934 in the village of Listvyanka. His grandfather was exiled here for participation in the events of 1905, a little later, the parents of the future cosmonaut, who had previously lived in the Donbass, also moved to Siberia. Alexei's father, Arkhip Alekseevich, had to change the profession of a miner to a peasant share, and his mother, Evdokia Minaevna, worked as a teacher.

There were many children in the Leonov family, Alexei was the youngest, the ninth child in a row. Family happiness and life were violated by Stalin's repressions. In 1936, Arkhip Leonov, a respected man, chairman of the village council, was arrested on false charges. The wife and children of the authorities were deprived of property and expelled from the house, and the children were forbidden to go to school. Fortunately, Leonov Sr. managed to survive in the camps, and in 1939 the father of a large family was acquitted and returned home.

By that time, Evdokia Minaevna, desperate to feed her children alone, having lost her job and shelter, moved to Kemerovo, to her eldest daughter. She had a room in the barracks, where for about a year the large Leonov family huddled. A year later, the father returned, and the family slowly began to rise to its feet. First, they were given two more rooms in the same barracks, and in 1948 Arkhip Alekseevich was assigned to a new job in Kaliningrad, where the Leonovs moved.

By the will of fate, little Alyosha went to school only at the age of 9, in Kemerovo. In elementary school, the boy became interested in drawing. Leonov graduated from high school already in Kaliningrad. By the time he received his certificate in 1953, Alexei had fully mastered the design of aircraft engines, aircraft and the theory of flight. The young man received this knowledge by reading the notes of his older brother, who once studied as an aviation technician.

1953 was a turning point in the biography and fate of the future cosmonaut: he hesitated in choosing professions between art and aviation. Alexey applied to the Riga Academy of Arts, but, having learned that students are provided with a hostel only from the third year of study, he left the first year.

Astronautics

After the failure with the Academy of Arts, Leonov entered the primary aviation school in Kremenchug, where the Komsomol recruitment was just being carried out. Upon completion of training in 1955, the young pilot continued his education at the Chuguev Aviation School, where he received the specialty of a fighter pilot. After graduating from college from 1957 to 1959, Alexei Leonov served in the tenth Guards Aviation Division in Kremenchug, from 1959 to 1960 - in Germany, as part of the Soviet troops.

In the autumn of 1959, Alexei Arkhipovich was destined to once again drastically change his fate. It was then that he met the head of the Cosmonaut Training Center (CTC), Colonel Karpov. At the first selection committee in Sokolniki, Leonov first met Yuri Gagarin , with whom he subsequently developed a strong friendship.

In 1960, Alexei Leonov was enrolled in a special detachment. This was followed by CPC courses and countless training sessions. In 1964, a design bureau led by Korolyov began building a new spacecraft that allowed astronauts to go out into airless space. This ship was Voskhod-2.

Two crews were preparing for the flight. The core team included Alexei Lenov and Pavel Belyaev , their understudies were cosmonauts Khrunov and Gorbatko. The historic flight and the first manned spacewalk took place on March 18, 1965.

After the flight on Voskhod-2, Leonov was part of a group of cosmonauts who were trained for flight and landing on the moon, but in the end the program was closed. The next exit of Leonov into the earth's orbit took place in 1975, when the legendary docking of the Soviet Soyuz-19 spacecraft and the American Apollo was made.

In 1982-1991, Leonov was the first deputy head of the CPC, in 1992 he retired.

First spacewalk

The launch of the spacecraft from "Baikonur" was successful, and then the flight proceeded in the normal mode. It was planned that "Vostok-2" should make seventeen turns around the Earth. On the second orbit, Leonov was supposed to enter the airless space through a special airlock. That's how it all happened. Alexei's partner, the captain of the ship, Pavel Belyaev, remained on board and watched what was happening with the help of television cameras.

Alexei Leonov spent 12 minutes 9 seconds in outer space. The astronaut was filmed by two static cameras, another camera was in his hands. Along with the delight of what he saw and the significance of the accomplished feat, Alexei Arkhipovich also experienced unpleasant sensations.

It was unbearably hot in the spacesuit, sweat flooded his eyes, the astronaut began to have tachycardia, and his temperature rose. When returning to the ship, there were also problems. From being in a vacuum, Leonov's suit swelled up, and it was impossible to squeeze through the opening of the airlock. He had to bleed the pressure so that the volumes of the suit returned to normal. With his hands full of camera and tether, it wasn't easy.

Finally, the astronaut got into the airlock, but then another trouble awaited him. When the lock chamber was disconnected, the ship was depressurized. It was possible to solve this problem by supplying oxygen, as a result of which the crew began to oversaturate.

Having coped with the malfunctions, the astronauts prepared to make an automatic landing in the normal mode, but that was not to be. The ship was supposed to go down on the seventeenth orbit around the Earth, but the system failed. Pavel Belyaev had to urgently take control. The captain kept within 22 seconds, but this time difference was enough for the crew to land 75 kilometers from the planned place. It happened 200 km from Perm, in the taiga, which made it very difficult for the search engines to work.

After four hours in the snow, in the cold, the astronauts were found by rescuers. The heroes were helped to get to the nearest wooden house in the forest, then they cleared a site for a helicopter landing, and only two days later the crew of Vostok-2 was safely evacuated and transported to Moscow.

In 2017, the film “ The Time of the First ” was released on the screens of the country, dedicated to the exploits and everyday life of the Soviet cosmonautics, with Konstantin Khabensky and Yevgeny Mironov in the lead roles.

Personal life

Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov met his future wife Svetlana in 1957. Three days after they met, they got married so as not to leave. The Leonovs had two daughters. The eldest daughter Victoria (1961-1996) died of a severe sudden illness. The woman worked in the main department of the navy, and after returning from a business trip to America, she suddenly felt ill. Parents took their daughter to the capital's doctors, but they could not help. Victoria died of a severe form of hepatitis complicated by pneumonia.

The youngest daughter of Alexei and Svetlana Leonov Oksana was born in 1967. She works as a translator, is married, thanks to Oksana, the Leonovs have two grandchildren.

In addition to astronautics, Alexei Arkhipovich is also known as an artist. In adulthood, he found the same time for children's passion. Leonov is the author of two hundred paintings and five albums with reproductions. Among his works are cosmic and terrestrial landscapes, portraits of friends, fantastic stories. Leonov the artist loved to work in oils, watercolors and Dutch gouache.

Also, the Hero of the Soviet Union was fond of reading, cycling, fencing, hunting, tennis, basketball, photography and filming.

Until 2000, Leonov served as president of the Alfa Capital investment fund, then became vice president of the bank with the same name. In recent years, the cosmonaut lived near Moscow, in a house designed by himself.

Born in a shirt

Death stood behind him at least three times, but it passed. During the spacewalk, the inflated spacesuit prevented the return to the ship. Oleksiy Leonov managed to expel excess air, and squeezed into the hatch not with his feet, but with his head forward, although the instructions forbade it. On January 22, 1969, before the meeting of the Politburo with cosmonauts in the Kremlin, Mr. Leonov found himself in a ZIL car, which was opened fire with a pistol by junior lieutenant Viktor Ilyin, disguised as a policeman. The officer wanted to assassinate Brezhnev, but confused the limousines. The driver died, cosmonauts Georgy Berehovy and Andrian Nikolaev were slightly injured, Leonov was not scratched. In June 1971, Leonov was to fly to the world's first orbital station "Salyut-1" as the commander of the Soyuz-11 spacecraft. Shortly before the start, the medical board did not miss one of his teammates, Valery Kubasov, the entire crew was changed, backups - Georgy Dobrovolskyi, Vladyslav Volkov and Viktor Patsaev - flew. During the return to Earth, they died due to the depressurization of the "Soyuz".

Famous jokes

In the cosmonaut detachment, Oleksiy Leonov was famous for his sociability and sense of humor.

During a joint lunch on board the Soyuz, the Soviet commander offered the Americans tubs with the inscription "Moscow Vodka". In fact, they contained borscht, but the Americans liked the joke spread by the press so much that businessman Armand Hammer, who imported "Stolichna" vodka to the USA, asked to replace it with "Moskovska".

"Well, yes, I came up with it. I like to cheer people up," said Oleksiy Leonov.

An even funnier episode happened after the flight. At the banquet organized by NASA, Leonov gave a short speech in English, ending it with the words: "I wish you a successful life!" But - as he assured, by accident - he omitted the syllable in the word "successful" and said: "I wish you a sex full life ".

Oleksiy Leonov was also known as an amateur artist who repeatedly exhibited his works. In 1967-1972, in co-authorship with the artist Andrii Sokolov, he created 14 Soviet postage stamps on the space theme.

Death

On October 11, 2019, Alexei Leonov died at the age of 86 . The last hours of the great cosmonaut spent in the hospital. Burdenko. Leonov's relatives have not yet told the press and admirers the cause of his death.

Merits

Alexey Arkhipovich is a holder of dozens of domestic and foreign awards, orders, and medals. The cosmonaut was an honorary citizen of 30 cities around the world, a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, an academician of the Russian Academy of Astronautics, he is a candidate of technical sciences.

Leonov is the author and co-author of scientific research and experiments. The following works are considered the most significant of them:

  • development of a hydro laboratory and creation of a space suit for work in the hydrosphere (1966);
  • study of light and color characteristics of vision after space flight (1967);
  • the influence of space flight factors on the visual acuity of the pilot of the Buran complex (1980).
Bibliography

On account of Alexei Leonov books and scientific publications, including:

  • Space Pedestrian (1967);
  • "Solar Wind" (1969);
  • "Going out into outer space" (1970);
  • "Features of the psychological preparation of astronauts" (1967).

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