Aleksei Arkhipovich Leonov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Leonov, Aleksei Arkhipovich


Born May 30, 1934, in the village of Listvianka, Tisul’ Raion, Kemerovo Oblast. Pilot and cosmonaut of the USSR; colonel. Hero of the Soviet Union (Mar. 23, 1965). Member of the CPSU since 1957. Son of a miner.

Upon graduating from the Chuguev Military Aviation School in 1957, Leonov served as a pilot in the air force. In 1960 he became a cosmonaut. He graduated from the N. E. Zhukovskii Air Force Engineering Academy in 1968. Leonov made a space flight as copilot on the Voskhod 2 spacecraft with P. I. Beliaev on Mar. 18, 1965. He was the first man to walk in space, remaining outside the ship for 12 minutes at a distance of up to 5 m.

Leonov has been awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Star, and various medals. He bears the titles of Hero of Socialist Labor of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and Hero of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam; he has also been awarded many foreign orders and medals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.