On the Road to Baku: Astronaut-training goes private. Bob Zimmerman BehindtheBlack.com

Feb 07, 05:11 AM
Photo: Another image of Edward White during Gemini 4 performing EVA

Astronaut Edward H. White II, pilot for the Gemini-Titan 4 space flight, floats in space during America's first spacewalk. The extravehicular activity (EVA) was performed during the Gemini 4 mission on June 3, 1965. White spent 23 minutes maneuvering around his spacecraft as Jim McDivitt remained inside the spacecraft. White is attached to the spacecraft by a 25-ft. umbilical line and a 23-ft. tether line, both wrapped in gold tape to form one cord. In his right hand, White carries a Hand-Held Self Maneuvering Unit (HHSMU), which he used to help move him around the weightless environment of space. The visor of his helmet is gold plated to protect him from the unfiltered rays of the sun. The spacewalk started at 3:45 p.m. EDT on the third orbit when White opened the hatch and used the hand-held manuevering oxygen-jet gun to push himself out of the capsule. The EVA started over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and lasted 23 minutes, ending over the Gulf of Mexico. Initially, White propelled himself to the end of the 8-meter tether and back to the spacecraft three times using the hand-held gun. After the first three minutes the fuel ran out and White maneuvered by twisting his body and pulling on the tether. In a photograph taken by Commander James McDivitt taken early in the EVA over a cloud-covered Pacific Ocean, the maneuvering gun is visible in White's right hand.


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  • File:Ed White performs first U.S. spacewalk - GPN-2006-000025.jpg
  • Created: 2 June 1965