31May2015

NASA Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of First US Spacewalk

Edward White, the first American to walk in space, photographed by commander James McDivitt

Famous Hollywood actor Jon Cryer has given his voice to a new NASA film celebrating 50th anniversary of the first spacewalk by a US astronaut. It was a remarkable achievement for the USA.

On June 3, 1965, NASA astronaut Ed White became the first American to walk in space. NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the US’ first extravehicular activity (EVA) — better known as a space walk — through a number of commemorative features.

When he floated out of the hatch of his Gemini 4 capsule into the void of space the first American “spacewalk” lasted 23 minutes, not nearly long enough for White. He later said the space walk was the most comfortable part of the mission, and said the order to end it was the “saddest moment” of his life.

White was attached to the capsule by a 25 foot umbilical cord. He initially used a gas powered gun held in his hand to maneuver. After the first three minutes the fuel ran out and White moved around by twisting his body and pulling on the cord.

On June 1, NASA will premiere a documentary narrated by actor Jon on the history and future of humans working on a tether in space. The film titled “Suit Up” will be aired on NASA Television and can be seen on the US space agency’s website and YouTube account.

The documentary features interviews with NASA Administrator and astronaut Charles Bolden, NASA Deputy Administrator and spacesuit designer Dava Newman, as well as other astronauts, engineers, technicians, managers and luminaries of spacewalk history.

They will share their personal stories that cover the full EVA experience — from spacesuit manufacturing to space walk manoeuvring — all brought to life through historical and HD footage. ZNews

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