Legendary Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov buried in Russia

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Alexei Leonov

FILE – In this Tuesday, July 20, 2010 file photo, former Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov speaks to the media before a reception at the U.S. Ambassador’s Spaso House residence in Moscow, Russia. Russia’s space agency says Alexei Leonov, the first human to walk in space 54 years ago, has died in Moscow. He was 85. Roscosmos says in a statement on its website that Leonov died on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

MYTISHCHI, Russia (AP) — Alexei Leonov, the first person to walk in space, has been laid to rest at a memorial cemetery outside the Russian capital of Moscow.

The legendary cosmonaut, who died Friday at 85, was buried Tuesday in a lavish ceremony, attended by hundreds of well-wishers and other celebrated cosmonauts.

Leonov staked his place in history on March 18, 1965, when he exited his space capsule to spend 12 minutes in outer space.

Ten years later, he was the commander of the Soviet section at the Apollo-Soyuz flight, the first joint Soviet-U.S. space mission.

Tom Stafford, commander of the U.S. section in the Apollo-Soyuz mission, came to the cemetery Tuesday to pay his last respects to Leonov, calling him a “colleague and friend.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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