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Alexei Leonov, first person to walk in space, dies at 85

THE first person to walk in space, Alexei Leonov, died today in Moscow aged 85.

Cosmonaut Mr Leonov left the Voskhod 2 capsule, secured by a tether, to perform the first spacewalk on March 18 1965.

The Soviet Union dominated the early years of the space race, launching the first satellite into orbit and both the first man (Yuri Gagarin) and first woman (Valentina Tereshkova) into space. 

Mr Leonov later commanded the Soviet half of the Apollo-Soyuz 19 Mission – first joint space mission between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Ahead of his 85th birthday in May, two Russian crewmembers on the International Space Station ventured into open space on a planned spacewalk with stickers attached to their spacesuits paying him tribute and congratulations.

Russian space agency Roscosmos said Leonov would be buried on Tuesday at a military memorial cemetery outside Moscow.

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