TIL about the shotgun pistol given to Soviet cosmonauts. It was developed after space pioneer Alexei Leonov’s capsule landed off course in Siberia. At risk from attack by bears and wolves, Leonov later pushed for development of a combination shotgun/pistol/survival weapon that could fend off bears.

Read more: https://warisboring.com/soviet-cosmonauts-carried-a-shotgun-into-space/

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  1. Alexei Leonov was the first man to walk in space and was intended to be the first Soviet on the moon before the program was canceled. At the end of Leonov’s space walk his air-filled suit had expanded so much in the vacuum of space that he was unable to fit in the airlock. He had to vent the air from his suit to dangerous levels before he could fit back inside, then turn around to close the airlock.

    An artist, Leonov made some sketches of an Earthrise in space and found a fan in science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. In his sequel to *2001*, called *2010: Odyssey 2*, the spacecraft was named the Alexei Leonov.

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