Soviet cosmonaut AA Leonov: biography, photo

Domestic astronautics knows a large number of outstanding personalities. But among them is the Soviet cosmonaut Leonov Alexey Arkhipovich. First of all, he is known for being the first person not afraid to go into outer space. This is what made Leonov-cosmonaut famous. The biography of this outstanding personality will be the subject of our discussion.

Birth and childhood

In the Kemerovo region, the territory of which then belonged to the West Siberian region, the future Soviet cosmonaut Leonov was born. Date of birth - May 30, 1934. His parents, Arkhip Alekseyevich Leonov and Evdokia Minaevna Sotnikova, except for a small Alyosha, brought up seven more children.

When Alexei was three years old, his family was repressed. My father went to the places of detention, and my mother and children were forced to move to Kemerovo, as their house was actually looted. But two years later my father was rehabilitated.

In Kemerovo A. A. Leonov went to school, but in 1947 the family, due to the change of the place of work of the breadwinner, was forced to move to Kaliningrad. It was in this city that the future great astronaut received secondary education.

From his early childhood, AA Leonov dreamed of an army career, so after receiving a certificate of secondary education (1953), he entered the Military Aviation School, which he successfully graduated in 1955. Two years later he completed his studies at the school of the corresponding profile.

Development of cosmonautics

Meanwhile, the second half of the 50's and 60's of the XX century were a time of rapid development of space exploration. In 1957, the Soviet Union launched an artificial Earth satellite. In the same year, in the aircraft, the first living creature, the Laika dog, was put into orbit. The issue of the possibility of flying into human space became more and more urgent.

In 1960, the USSR Air Force made the selection of the first cosmonaut detachment, which included 20 of the most highly trained pilots. It was from among the members of this detachment that a crew was formed for the first Soviet space expeditions. In this twenty, the most worthy ones were AA Leonov. In addition to him, the detachment included German Titov, Dmitry Zaikin, Pavel Popovich, Ivan Anikeev, Adrian Nikolayev and many other famous pilots. Honor to become the first cosmonaut was granted to Yuri Gagarin. In April 1961, he performed the first orbital flight on the Vostok-1 spacecraft.

From 1961 to 1964, G. Titov, A. Nikolayev, P. Popovich, V. Bykovsky and V. Komarov also made flights to outer space. The crew of Vladimir Komarov, who flew in October 1964, except for the commander, consisted of two more men. Such a possibility was provided by a new type of multi-seat spacecraft "Voskhod", which replaced the "Vostok" series.

Soviet cosmonaut Leonov was waiting for his turn. Photos with him and Yuri Gagarin can be seen above.

Historical flight

A new space expedition was planned for mid-March 1965. It consisted of two people. The commander was appointed Pavel Belyaev, and the pilot - AA Leonov. The flight was to take place on the space ship Voskhod-2, which, in comparison with the first version, was modified.

Initially, the tasks of the expedition included the realization of man's exit into outer space, and it was considered as part of the USSR's lunar program.

The ship "Voskhod-2" with Belyaev and Leonov on board was launched on March 18, 1965.

In the open space

After the spacecraft went into orbit, it was necessary to implement the main goal of the flight - the spacewalk. AA Leonov had to solve this problem. The cosmonaut immediately moved to the lock chamber, after which the crew commander closed the compartment and began its depressurization. Then Alexey Arkhipovich left the lock chamber and went into open space. It was this act for the whole world that became known to A. A. Leonov (astronaut). The photo of his stay in the open space is located below.

It should be noted that while outside the spacecraft, Alexei Arkhipovich felt uncomfortable: his body temperature rose, increased sweating, increased the frequency of breathing and palpitation. In the open space, the cosmonaut spent more than twelve minutes.

The return to the spacecraft was associated with some difficulties. Because the suit was heavily swollen, it was difficult for Leonov to return to the airlock. Therefore, he - in violation of the instructions - was forced to squeeze into it with the help of hands head first.


The landing of the spacecraft was also accompanied by some unforeseen events. It had to be done automatically, after the ship made 17 turns around the orbit. But the automation failed. Therefore, "Sunrise-2" had to be put in manual mode after 18 turns.

The landing site was taiga district in the Perm region. Rescue expedition was able to find the crew of the spacecraft only for the second day. This was due to the fact that due to failures in the automation planting occurred in an unplanned location.

Further cosmonaut career

After the historic flight, crowned by the first successful exit of man into outer space, Alexei Leonov was awarded the title of Hero of the USSR. He was awarded the highest Soviet awards - "Gold Star" and the Order of Lenin.

After that, and until 1969 inclusive, Leonov took part in the Soviet lunar program. But after the landing of Americans on the Moon, it was folded, since the USSR lost the championship in the "lunar race". Now the natural satellite of the Earth did not represent a special interest for domestic space exploration. Although at one time it was planned that it was Leonov who should become the man who first landed on the Moon.

At this time, at the same time as work, Alexey Arkhipovich studied at the Air Force Academy in engineering direction.

In 1975 A. Leonov made his second flight into space. This time it was he who was the commander of the crew, which included, in addition to him, V. Kubasov. The flight was made on the Soyuz-19 aircraft and lasted more than five days. For this expedition he was once again awarded the title Hero of the USSR.

In January 1982 forty-seven-year-old A. Leonov, along with other pilots of his generation, left the cosmonauts' team. This was primarily due to his age. At the same time, he continued until 1991 to hold the post of deputy. Chief of the CPC. In 1991 he retired in the rank of major general.

Retirement Activities

But not such a man is Alexey Arkhipovich, to stay on a well-deserved rest. Already in 1992, he headed the firm that develops space programs. In addition, he is an official advisor to a member of the board of directors of one of the largest Russian banks.

At present, Alexey Arkhipovich's main interest is painting. In this case, he received a well-deserved recognition from professionals. A. Leonov cooperates with the artist A. Sokolov, with whom he co-authored a series of postage stamps.

Alexei Arkhipovich does not shy away from politics. Currently, he is a member of the Supreme Council of the United Russia party organization. On his 75th birthday, Dmitry Medvedev personally congratulated him, at that time he was the Russian president.

A family

Alexey Leonov's wife is Svetlana Dotsenko, born in 1940. In the past, she worked as an editor at the publishing house of the CPC, and now is retired.

In the marriage they had two daughters - Victoria (born in 1961) and Oksana (born in 1967). But Victoria, who worked in SU Sovfrakht, died in 1996 due to hepatitis with a pneumonic complication. Oksana is currently working as an interpreter.

Evaluation of personality

So, we learned about such an outstanding personality in history as AA Leonov (astronaut). His biography was rather uneasy: at an early age he faced Stalin's repressions, and in retirement he experienced the bitterness of losing his daughter.

But, despite all the misadventures and obstacles, A. Leonov was able to become one of the most famous personalities in Soviet and world space exploration. It was he who was honored for the first time to go into open space. Given how, at that time, candidates were being selected, it must be admitted that to be appointed to such a mission, a person must have really exceptional personal qualities. And the correctness of this choice Alexey Arkhipovich proved in practice.

Unbending nature and diligence A. Leonov demonstrated after retirement, when, instead of going on a well-deserved rest, he did not stop active labor and social activity.

It is people like AA Leonov who are proud of Russia.

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