1965-03-18 USSR Voskhod 2

Photo of the Voskhod 2 crew in winter gear, signed in the lower border in blue ballpoint by Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev. - RRAuction
Voskhod 2, launched on March 18 1965, was a manned spaceflight that carried Pavel Belyayev and Alexei Leonov. It was Leonov, however, who made history on 18 March 1965 when he became the first man to walk in space for 12 minutes and 9 seconds.

Photo: Soviet scientists monitor signals from the Voskhod 2 crew, March 18, 1965.
Voskhod 2 launch, Kiev postmark on March 18, 1965. Signed by Alexei Leonov, the first man to walk in space.
Photo: Alexei Leonov spacewalk, March 18, 1965.
Photo: A sketch by the crew to illustrate how the camera outside Voskhod 2 spacecraft captured Leonov's spacewalk. 
Photo signed by Alexei Leonov.
Photo: Crowds in Moscow's Red Square cheering the success of Leonov's spacewalk. 
Voskhod 2 launch, Liepaja postmark on March 18, 1965.
Voskhod 2 launch, Silute postmark on March 18, 1965.
Voskhod 2 launch, Arkhangelsk postmark on March 18, 1965.
Despite the spectacular success of the space walk, things that followed after went wrong; Leonov was almost unable to re-enter the airlock after the space walk, due to stiffness of his inflated spacesuit. He had to bleed off the suit's pressure in order to make it easier for him to move his joints. When he finally got back into the spacecraft, the crew encountered difficulty in sealing the hatch properly. Later, the automatic guidance system for re-entry malfunctioned and forced the crew to use of its manual backup. Voskhod 2 eventually landed in the thick forest of the Ural Mountains, which was outside of the flight's intended landing zone. The crew spent two nights in the wild before they were rescued... (the nightmare of Voskhod 2 was told by Leonov here). Subsequent missions for the Voskhod programme were deemed dangerous and were cancelled.

Voskhod 2 Arkhangelsk postmark on the crew landing day, March 19, 1965
Voskhod 2 imperforate stamp on KNIGA cover signed by Alexei Leonov. This imperforated stamp was issued on the crew landing day, March 19, 1965.
Photo: First public appearance of the Voskhod 2 crew on March 21, 1965.
Photo: Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev interviewed by radioman, March 22, 1965.
Photo: Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev waving to crowd while on the way to the Red Square for state reception, March 23, 1965. 
Voskhod 2 covers with special Moscow postmark on March 23, 1965, signed by Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev. The perforated stamps were issued on March 23, 1965.
Voskhod 2 KNIGA cover signed by the crew. The stamps were issued and cancelled on 23 May 1965.
Voskhod 2 special Minsk postmark 25 March 1965, signed by Alexei Leonov.
Photo: Alexei Leonov and Pavel Belyayev, prior to a news conference on March 26, 1965, dedicated to the Voskhod 2 space flight.
Russian scientist Leonid Sevod (left), cosmonauts Pavel Belyayev, Alexei Leonov, and Wernher Von Braun at the opening session of 16th International Astronautical Congress, Athens, Greece, 13 Oct 1965.
Voskhod 2 crew, Alexei Leonov (left) and Pavel Belyayev (right).