Astronaut Ed White spacewalking, 1965.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
Gemini 4 astronaut Ed White made the first spacewalk or EVA (extra vehicular activity) by an American. He spent more than 20 minutes outside his spacecraft. The 'umbilical cord' connecting him to the capsule supplied him with oxygen, and he held a rocket gun which he fired to help him move around in the vacuum of space. Gemini 4, crewed by James McDivitt and White, was launched on 3rd June 1965 and completed 62 Earth orbits. It was the second manned launch of NASA's two-man Gemini spacecraft.