The first spacewalk didn’t go off without a hitch. During the spacewalk, Leonov’s suit ballooned, rendering him less mobile. The gloves of the spacesuit became stiff and his dexterity was challenged, but that wasn’t even the worst of it. Leonov’s suit had become so swollen that it was bigger than the entrance to the airlock. He was trapped outside of the Voskhod 2 capsule, floating in space. Without letting mission control know, he let out enough air from his spacesuit to fit back inside the airlock. While he did manage to survive, he came dangerously close to depressurizing too quickly and suffering from what divers call “the bends.” The rate at which he had to depressurize in order to fit through the airlock could have caused bubbles to form in his blood, spelling disaster for the cosmonaut. He made it back inside, completing the first ever spacewalk, but a mishap during re-entry would mean that the crew of Pavel Belyayev and Alexey Leonov would land 2,000 miles off-target in the thick Siberian Taiga and have to survive sub-zero temperatures for two nights before they were rescued.
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