First American Spacewalk
IV orbited the Earth on June 3-7, 1965. While James A.
McDivitt remained inside, Edward H. White
II opened the right-hand hatch and floated out into space, where he
remained for 20 minutes, the first American astronaut to "walk" in space.
Three months earlier, Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei A. Leonov had performed the
first spacewalk. White was connected to the spacecraft's life-support and
communications systems by a gold-covered "umbilical
cord," and he used a hand-held jet
thruster to maneuver in space. The Gemini missions tested procedures and
equipment needed for upcoming Apollo missions to the Moon.
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
||3.4 m (11 ft)
||2.3 m (7 ft 6 in)
||3,200 kg (7,000 lb)
||McDonnell Aircraft Corp. for NASA