The first person to perform an Extravehicular Activity (EVA), also known as a spacewalk, was Russian Alexei Leonov on 18 March 1965. Connected to his Voskhod 2 spacecraft by a tether 5.35 metres (17.55 feet) long, he remained in the vacuum of space for 12 minutes and nine seconds. It had not been anticipated how much his spacesuit would inflate in space, however, and he struggled to get back through the airlock. Fortunately, by opening a valve and releasing some pressure he was just able to squeeze back in.
The first American spacewalk (pictured above) was Ed White a few months later on 3 June 1965 during the Gemini 4 mission. He enjoyed the experience so much that, upon re-entering the spacecraft, he commented: “This is the saddest moment of my life.”
Image courtesy of NASA