If you take a quick look through history, you’ll notice that June 3, 1965, was Ed H. White’s crowning moment. He became the very first US man in space to conduct a spacewalk.
The official records show that the first American spacewalk commenced at 3:45 p.m. EDT. He was able to propel himself out of the capsule using an oxygen-jet gun.
In terms of range, Ed White’s spacewalk started over the Pacific Ocean in close proximity to Hawaii and ended some 23 minutes later over the Gulf of Mexico.
As he started out, Edward H. White II pushed himself to the end of the 8-meter tether and back to the spacecraft about 3 times using his handheld oxygen-jet gun. Interestingly, the fuel ran out within 3 minutes of doing this and Ed White had to improvise. He successfully wiggled his body and pulled on the leather tether to find his way.
In that time, the Space Shuttle program has come and gone, unmanned space crafts have made their way to the cosmos and the Voyager 1 probe has sailed so far away from our solar system that it’s now in interstellar space.
Despite all these changes, the first American spacewalk continues to hold a special place in history. It’s a moment in time that showcases the excellence of the human spirit and grit.
Edward White II and his crew will continue being celebrated for their smarts and faith to explore unexplored territories. Their achievement is all the more impressive when you consider that there’s no amount of training that can prepare you for what lies in deep space. The Space Race was indeed, a special era.
From the outside, spacewalks seem like nothing more than fancy reconnaissance explorations. While that may be true to some degree, they actually serve a purpose.
Having mentioned a couple of reasons why EVA’s are imperative, it’s also worth pointing out that EVAs can be incredibly hard work. Pulling off a spacewalk is not an easy task. While floating out there in space seems like an easy-peasy process, there’s plenty of action and preparation necessary before you don a spacesuit.
Astronauts usually prepare for spacewalks by going for a swim. Since floating in space is a lot like floating in the water, astronauts mimic the conditions out there by conducting spacewalks underwater in mammoth swimming pools.
One such pool is the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). Situated in NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, the pool has a capacity of 6.2 million gallons of water.
Thankfully, technology has been so advanced that astronauts can now use virtual reality to prepare for spacewalks. All astronauts need to get ready here is to put on helmets containing a video screen inside. Some special gloves also provide them with a sense of touch and movement while inside the virtual world. It’s one of the best ways to experience the thrills of outer space without them actually ever stepping out of their comfort zone.
It’s thanks to great men like Ed White that we’ve managed to rethink our purpose in the universe. In truth, humans have an intrinsic desire for exploration, but, there’s often a chasm that exists between mentally conceiving an idea and actually executing it.
As such, we feel it’s only right for us to raise a toast to the first American spacewalk in history and laud our heroes and heroines at NASA. They deserve it!
While it may take some years before space tourism becomes available to all and sundry, you can let your imagination take you there.
At AstroReality, we have invested in augmented reality technologies that are sure to give you an immersive experience of what outer space looks and feels like. We are proud to commemorate the groundbreaking moment with you, as well as excited to introduce our all-new NASA AR Notebook. With the whole new Augmented Reality experience, you can immerse yourself with the grand history of NASA and the iconic space moment using our app.