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Space History Photo: White Earth Limb

space history, nasa, gemini
Astronaut Ed White floats in space with an earth limb behind him during his 1965 mission. (Image credit: NASA | James McDivitt)

In this historical photo from the U.S. space agency, Edward H. White II, pilot of the Gemini 4 spacecraft, floats in the zero gravity of space with an earth limb backdrop. The extravehicular activity was performed during the third revolution of the Gemini 4 spacecraft and represents the first time an American has stepped outside the confines of his spacecraft.

White is attached to the spacecraft by a 25-ft. umbilical line and a 23-ft. tether line, both wrapped in gold tape to form one cord. In his right hand White carries a Hand-Held Self-Maneuvering Unit (HHSMU). The visor of his helmet is gold plated to protect him from the unfiltered rays of the sun.

Each weekday, SPACE.com looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Founded in 1958, NASA is a civilian space agency aimed at exploring the universe with space telescopes,  satellites, robotic spacecraft, astronauts and more. The space agency has 10 major centers based across the U.S. and launches robotic and crewed missions from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida. It's astronaut corps is based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. To follow NASA's latest mission, follow the space agency on Twitter or any other social channel, of visit: nasa.gov