Russian Spacewalkers Wish Happy Birthday to First Spacewalker Alexei Leonov

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Alexey Ovchinin
At the start of today’s spacewalk, cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko (left) and Alexey Ovchinin commemorated Russia’s first spacewalker Alexei Leonov, who turns 85 on Thursday, with signs attached to their Orlan spacesuits (see translations below).

Shortly after beginning their spacewalk, Expedition 59 Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos recorded birthday greetings for the first person to spacewalk, Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov. Leonov’s 85th birthday is tomorrow, Thursday, May 30.

See the video on Twitter

On 18 March, 1965, Leonov became the first person to leave a spacecraft in a spacesuit to conduct a spacewalk, exiting the capsule during the Voskhod 2 mission for a 12-minute spacewalk.

Kononenko and Ovchinin also added signs to the backs of their Orlon spacesuits to honor the first spacewalker. Kononenko’s suit with the red stripes bears a sign that says “1st spacewalker”, and the sign on Ovchinin’s suit with the blue stripes says, “Happy birthday, Alexei Arkhipovich,” Leonov’s family name.

Alexey Leonov: First Human to Walk in Space
Alexey Leonov: First Human to Walk in Space

Watch the Space Station Fly Over Your Home Town

The Gulf and eastern coasts of the United States
The Gulf and eastern coasts of the United States feature prominently in this well-lit nighttime view of North America.

The International Space Station will cross over the United States this weekend from the Gulf Coast to the North Atlantic. Skywatchers along the station’s orbital track from New Orleans, La., to Portland, Maine, can see the orbital lab Friday and Saturday night. More sighting times for these and other American cities are below…

Friday May 17, 2019

9:14 p.m. CDT
Baton Rouge, La.
New Orleans, La.

10:15 p.m. EDT
Huntsville, Ala.
Tampa, Fla.
Atlanta, Ga.
Memphis, Tenn.

10:16 p.m. EDT
Louisville, Ky.
Cincinnati, Ohio

10:17 p.m. EDT
Washington, D.C.
Columbus, Ohio
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Burlington, Vt.
Charleston, W. Va.

10:18 p.m. EDT
Baltimore, Md.
Philadelphia, Pa.
New York City

10:19 p.m. EDT
Boston, Mass.
Portland, Maine

Saturday May 18, 2019

9:25 p.m. EDT
Tampa, Fla.
Atlanta, Ga.
Savannah, Ga.
Charleston, S.C.

9:26 p.m. EDT
Washington, D.C.
Raleigh, N.C.
Richmond, Va.

9:27 p.m. EDT
Baltimore, Md.
Philadelphia, Pa.
New York City

9:28 p.m. EDT
Boston, Mass.

9:29 p.m. EDT
Portland, Maine

Visit https://spotthestation.nasa.gov and find sighting opportunities for your hometown.