Biography of Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov
Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov was born on May 30, 1934 in a Siberian village 600 kilometers from Kemerovo. His grandfather was once exiled here for participation in the revolution of 1905. Then Alexey's parents moved to the distant lands from the Donbass. My father, a Donetsk miner, deserved great prestige in the village and was even elected chairman of the village council.
Unfortunately, in 1936 he became a victim of repression, and in 1939 he was rehabilitated. Alexey's mother was a teacher. Wife - Leonova Svetlana Pavlovna. Daughters: Leonova Victoria Alekseevna, Leonova Oksana Alekseevna.
Alexey was the ninth child in the family. In 1938, he and his mother moved to Kemerovo. At 9 years old I went to primary school. After 4 years, the family moved to the city of Kaliningrad (formerly Koenigsberg) at the place of work of the father.
While still in school, Leonov was interested in aircraft engineering and carefully studied the design of aircraft, the basics of flight theory, and so on.
In 1953, the young man graduated from high school, received a good certificate of maturity. In the same year, Alexei easily entered the school of pilots,which was located in Kremenchug.
After graduation, he studied at the Higher School of fighter pilots in Chuguev in Ukraine. In the period from 1957 to 1959, he flew in combat regiments. In 1960, Leonov withstood the rigorous selection and was enlisted in the cosmonaut corps.
In March 1965, together with P. I. Belyaev, Alexey Arkhipovich made a flight on the Voskhod-2 spacecraft as a co-pilot. During the flight, which lasted one day, 2 hours, 2 minutes and 17 seconds, for the first time in world history, a man went into outer space, retired from a spacecraft to a distance of five meters and spent 12 minutes and 9 seconds outside the airlock in outer space. This event gave rise to a new direction of human activity in space.
After the flight, A. A. Leonov began to actively move up the career ladder. In the period from 1967 to 1970, he headed the lunar group of astronauts. At the beginning of 1973, a serious problem arose before the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and NASA (USA) - it was necessary to select astronauts for the main and backup crews of the Soyuz and Apollo spacecraft.
Candidates had to meet the following criteria: excellent knowledge of space technology,as well as the ability to work with systems and equipment of ships, knowledge of foreign languages, high professional qualifications, readiness to conduct a broad program of scientific experiments and observations.
The USSR was represented by cosmonauts A. A. Leonov and V. N. Kubasov. From the USA - astronauts T. Stafford, W. Brand, D. Slayton. In July 1975, a joint flight was carried out. The commander of the ship "Soyuz" was appointed Alexey Arkhipovich Leonov.
The entire population of the planet Earth with ecstasy watched a unique experiment in space - a joint flight of the Soviet spacecraft "Soyuz-19" and the American Apollo. For the first time in history, spacecraft were docked, and many astrophysical, biomedical, technological, and geophysical experiments were carried out. The flight lasted more than five days and marked the beginning of a new era in space exploration.
During the years of scientific and practical work and during space flights, A. A. Leonov produced a huge amount of research and experimentation. Particularly significant among them are the study of light and color characteristics of vision after a flight into space (1967),the influence of space flight factors on the visual acuity of the pilot of the Buran complex (1980), the development of a hydrolaboratory (using the hydrosphere as an analogue of weightlessness, 1966), the creation of a space suit for working in the hydrosphere.
Alexey Arkhipovich took an active part in scientific conferences and international congresses, made about 30 reports.
He was twice honored with the high title of Hero of the Soviet Union (1965, 1975), as well as the title of laureate of the State Prize of the USSR (1981) and laureate of the Lenin Komsomol Prize.
A. A. Leonov was awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Star, "For Service to the Motherland in the Armed Forces" of the III degree. He was awarded the title Hero of Socialist Labor of Bulgaria, Hero of Labor of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
He was also awarded the big gold medal "For merits in the development of science and to humanity", the medal named after Z. Needla (Czechoslovakia), two large gold medals "Cosmos", two medals de Lavaux, the gold medal named after Yu. A. Gagarin medal named after K. E. Tsiolkovsky Academy of Sciences of the USSR, many other foreign orders and medals.
He was awarded the K. Harmon International Aviation Prize.He is an honorary citizen of 30 cities of the world: Vologda, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Perm, Chuguev, Kremenchug, etc. One of the craters on the Moon is named after A. A. Leonov.
Alexey Arkhipovich was elected a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics, an academician of the Russian Academy of Astronautics, a co-chairman of the International Association of Space Flight Participants (1985-1999), he has a degree in technical sciences.
Creativity and hobbies
Even in childhood, Alexey Arkhipovich was fond of painting. He saw this world in his own way and wrote over 200 paintings and created 5 art albums, including cosmic landscapes, fantasy, earthly landscapes, portraits of friends (watercolor, oil, Dutch gouache). A. A. Leonov, together with science fiction artist Andrei Sokolov, created a series of postage stamps.
In addition to his passion for painting, Alexey Arkhipovich is the author of books and monographs. The most famous are “Pedestrian of Space” (1967), “Solar Wind” (1969), “I Go Out into Open Space” (1970), “Perception of Space and Time in Space” (Leonov, Lebedev; 1966 .), "Features of the psychological preparation of astronauts" (Leonov, Lebedev; 1967).
A. A. Leonov resigned as a major general of aviation.From 1992 to 2000 he was the president of the Alfa-Capital specialized investment fund. Since 2000 - Vice-President of Alfa-Bank.
He currently lives and works in Moscow.