May 30, 2014

Today, on May 30, we congratulate the legendary cosmonaut Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov on his Birthday. His name is of great importance for the world Cosmonautics; Leonov’s flights symbolize the courage and breakthrough of the humankind. His space missions prove that strength of mind, courage and professionalism may let any dream come true.

He started conquering the sky in Military Aviation School of Krementchug town. Then he entered Tchuguyev Military Air Force School.

After leaving Air force school he got an appointment to jetfighter  air regiment.

At the next stage on his way to the space he became a member of the cosmonaut corps. Alexey Leonov started his training for the space flight in March 1960 as a member of the first ever so called “Gagarin” cosmonaut corps. In April 1961 upon successful completion of the training program he was appointed to the cosmonaut position.

In August 1964 Alexey Leonov and Pavel Belyayev started training in accordance with the program of the first spacewalk in world history. Voskhod-2  spacecraft was launched on March 18, 1965. This flight was one of the most significant events in the history of world cosmonautics, for the first time the man took a step to the uncertain space being face to face with it. Undoubtedly the first “space walk” was a great event for the whole planet. For successful flight, courage and heroism Alexey Leonov was awarded a Hero of Soviet Union.

After his return to the Earth Alexey Leonov continued his space flight trainings. Besides he graduated from Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy (faculty of engineering) in 1968.

His second flight was also of great significance, in July 1975 two manned spacecraft of different countries Soyuz-19 (USSR) and Apollo (USA) docked for the first time. USSR crew commander Alexey Leonov and flight engineer Valeri Kubasov shook hands with American colleagues Thomas Stafford, Vance Brand and Donald Slayton. This event laid the base for the international cooperation on the orbit modern cosmonautics is impossible to imagine without nowadays. The docking took place on July 17, the undocking – on July 19. For this flight Alexey Leonov was awarded the second Golden Star Order and Order of Lenin.

From 1976 up to 1982 Alexey Arkhipovich was cosmonaut corps commander. In 1982-1991 he served as the first Deputy of GCTC Head on flight and space training.

A. Leonov contributed not only to the space exploration but to the art, science and public activities either.  He is a talented artist, sportsman and scientist. The cosmonaut is a honorary member of Russian Academy of Arts, Honoured Master of Sports, has a Doctor of A Science degree, works for charity, take part in numerous projects for children and youth. We congratulate Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov and wish him space health, happiness, prosperity, success and creative power for new achievements!

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