The Glorious Walk in the Cosmos

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NASA, [Edward White's space walk], from “The Glorious Walk in the Cosmos,” June 1965

In June 1965 Astronaut Edward White and Major James McDivitt were part of the crew that made the first space walk by an American. Ed White succeeded to float 22 minutes in space.

With the walk time running out, White parked himself outside McDivitt’s window. As the following excerpts from their conversation indicate, it took some talking to get him back inside.

McDivitt: They want you to get back in now.

White (laughing): I’m not coming in… This is fun.

McDivitt: Come on.

White: Hate to come back to you but I’m coming

McDivitt: Gosh, you still got three and a half more days to go, buddy

Gemini Control: You’re got about four minutes to Bermuda.

White: I’m trying to…

McDivitt: O.K. O.K. Don’t wear yourself out now. Just come in… How you doing there?

White: … whenever a piece of dirt or something goes by, it always heads right for that door and goes on out.

McDivitt: O.K., come in then.

White: …aren’t you going to hold my hand?

McDivitt: No, come on in the… Ed, come on in here.

White: All right. I’ll open the door and come through there…

McDivitt: Come on. Let’s get back in here before it gets dark.

White: It’s the saddest moment of my life.

McDivitt: Well, you’re going to find it sadder when we have to come down with this thing.

Gemini Control: Gemini 4…

White: I’m fixing to come in the house.

Gemini Control: Gemini 4. Get back in… You getting him back in?

McDivitt: He’s standing in the seat now and his legs are below the instrumental panel.

Gemini Control: O.K., get him back in. You’re going to have Bermuda in about 20 seconds.


[Caption from Life, Vol. 58, No. 24, June 18, 1965, p. 39]

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About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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One Response to The Glorious Walk in the Cosmos

  1. marlene voskian says:

    Yes, glorious indeed. God’s creation. I like the first choice because there is a reflection in the glass visor. I like all the photographies. The last photography shows not only the visual elements, but also the fact of zero gravite and that Astronaut White is floating with his feet in the air.

    The dialog between Astronaut James McDivitt and White is humorous. I don’t blame White for wanting to stay out there. What an awesome feeling!

    The Huntington Library has an award winning exhibit on Science.
    During the Huntington Library Science Fair in San Marino, Ca this year, I showed my A graded H8 grade paper on “Plants “to a representative from JPL. He said: “Why don’t you become an astronaut?” I was flattered! I told him:”I was a retired pharmacist.” He gave me his card and said I could go to JPL and watch them go threw the procedures of the space actvities. My eyes lit up. I haven’t gone yet.

    I would like to thank the person who submitted these photograhies. I hope he will read this reply and respond.

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