Trying to explain the unknown is all but impossible, with points of reference far removed from everyday comprehension. For Alexey Leonov, meanwhile, trying to convey his experience of March 18, 1965 must’ve been as improbable as it was impossible.
Leonov, a former pilot in the Soviet Air Force, would go down in history for a feat of bravery like no other: he was the first man to step outside a spacecraft and embark on extra-vehicular activity – also known as a spacewalk. And, while it may have been a struggle to truly convey this weightless, isolated feeling, in his own words, Leonov was able to beautifully recount the experience of that 12-minute sojourn from the capsule of Voskhod 2: “What struck me most was the silence. It was a great silence, unlike any I have encountered on Earth, so vast and deep that I began to hear my own body: my heart beating, my blood vessels pulsing, even the rustle of my muscles moving over each other seemed audible. There were more stars in the sky than I had expected. The sky was deep black, yet at the same time bright with sunlight.”