Astronaut Edward H. White II, pilot for the Gemini-Titan 4 space flight, floats in space during America's first spacewalk on June 3, 1965
NASA
June 3, 2015 8:03 AM EDT

Fifty years ago, on June 3, 1965, Ed White performed America’s first spacewalk—giving the country a much-needed space boost and a well-loved space hero. The half-century of extravehicular activity (EVA) that has followed is the legacy of White and the other early pioneers. Here is a look at some of the high points.

Write to Jeffrey Kluger at jeffrey.kluger@time.com.

Read More From TIME

Related Stories