Science

Lavish funeral for cosmonaut and first spacewalker Alexei Leonov

Nasa astronaut Tom Stafford was among the mourners.

Alexei Leonov, the first person to walk in space, has been laid to rest at a memorial cemetery outside the Russian capital of Moscow.

The legendary cosmonaut, who died Friday at 85, was buried in a lavish ceremony, attended by hundreds of well-wishers and other celebrated cosmonauts.

Space Russia Leonov Obit
In this March 18, 1965 photo made from a television screen, Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, left, floats in space (AP)

Mr Leonov staked his place in history on March 18 1965, when he exited his space capsule to spend 12 minutes in outer space.

Ten years later, he was the commander of the Soviet section at the Apollo-Soyuz flight, the first joint Soviet-US space mission.

Russia Cosmonaut
Honour guards carry the coffin of Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, who made the first spacewalk in 1965 (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

Tom Stafford, commander of the US section in the Apollo-Soyuz mission, came to the cemetery to pay his last respects to Mr Leonov, calling him a “colleague and friend”.

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