Ed White's Historic NASA Spacewalk Occurred 50 Years Ago

Fifty years ago on Wednesday, NASA astronaut Ed White stepped out of his space capsule and walked in space for the first time. That 20-minute excursion opened up a new way to explore space for U.S. astronauts. For White, the spacewalk was bittersweet. During the excursion, White said: "This is the greatest experience, it's just tremendous." White's spacewalk was part of NASA's Gemini program. He left the confines of his Gemini capsule while astronaut James McDivitt stayed inside, monitoring the walk. Since White's historic spacewalk (called an extra-vehicular activity, or EVA, in NASA-speak), the space agency has continued to send men and women into the vacuum of space with only a well-designed suit to protect them. In total, NASA astronauts have performed more than 260 spacewalks, including the EVAs that put people on the moon for the first time.