The two-man Voskhod 2 achieved another on-orbit spectacular when Alexei Leonov carried out the first spacewalk. To enable this, Soviet engineers had designed an airlock which could be inflated in orbit to form a tunnel for exiting and reentering without having to let the air out of the cabin. (By contrast, American capsules of this era had to be completely depressurized prior to EVAs.) However, during Leonov's 24-min spacewalk, his suit ballooned up more than expected, and became too large and rigid to fit back through the airlock. Leonov was compelled to vent some of the suit's air. Once he managed to get back inside, the main hatch refused to seal properly, causing the environmental control system to compensate by flooding the cabin with oxygen and creating a serious fire hazard in a craft only qualified for a sea-level nitrogen-oxygen mixture. More dangers were to follow. When the time came for reentry, the primary retrorockets failed, forcing a manually-controlled retrofire one orbit later. Then the service module failed to separate completely, leading to wild gyrations of the joined reentry sphere and service module before connecting wires burned through. Voskhod 2 finally landed, about 2,000 km off course, in heavy forest in the Ural mountains. The crew spent an uncomfortable night in the woods, surrounded by wolves, before being located.
Related category• MANNED SPACEFLIGHT
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