Life magazine’s June 18, 1965 issue featured NASA photographs of the first U.S. space walk.
The walk, which took place in the midst of the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race, came three months after a Soviet cosmonaut completed the first-ever successful space walk. Taken by James McDivitt from the Gemini IV space craft, the photos show Ed White floating 120 miles above the Earth.
The 22-minute walk was photographed with a 70mm Hasselblad. During the 60’s, NASA began equipping its astronauts with Hasselblad cameras, which were very easy to use. The cameras allowed film to be pre-loaded into magazines that could be quickly switched out when lighting conditions changed. NASA later began suggesting modifications for its cameras and used the first Hasselblad electric cameras on its Apollo missions.
White, who didn’t want to re-enter to the space craft at the end of his walk, half-joked that having to return was the saddest moment of his life. Check out Life.com to see more pictures and read quotes from Life’s original accompanying article.
NASA Picture S65-30431. Ed White floating above the Pacific Ocean.