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Suit Up’: NASA Celebrates 50th Anniversary of First U.S. Spacewalk

NASA Celebrates 50th Anniversary of First Spacewalk 0:25

NASA is celebrating the first U.S. spacewalk 50 years ago with a new documentary on the history of humans working in their own human-sized space havens.

Astronaut Ed White became the first American to step into space on June 3, 1965, during NASA's Gemini 4 mission. The pictures and video of White on that first U.S. spacewalk, floating above Earth in a white spacesuit with tethers tumbling behind him, are still widely published today.

Related: Vintage Photos Show Golden Age of Space Travel

In the years since, astronauts have used spacewalks to explore the moon, perform vital repairs to the crippled Skylab space station, build the International Space Station, and snag satellites — including the Hubble Space Telescope, which had five servicing missions. [The Evolution of the Spacesuit in Photos]

NASA astronauts have performed 264 spacewalks, 184 of them dedicated to building the space station.

The new NASA documentary, called "Suit Up," is narrated by Jon Cryer, who is best known for starring as Alan Harper in the TV sitcom "Two and a Half Men." You can see the full video on NASA's YouTube channel.

The agency also has a website for "Suit Up" that includes a spacewalk gallery and a history of spacewalking. The website invites members of the public to show how they "suit up" for their own jobs, using the Twitter hashtag #SuitUp.

This is a condensed version of a report from Space.com. Read the full report. Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter. Follow Space.com on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.