US astronaut. While accompanying Gus Grissom on the Gemini 4 mission, he became the first US astronaut to undertake a space walk (see illus. on p. 370). On 27 January 1967 at Cape Kennedy, White, Grissom, and Commander Roger Chaffee of the US Navy were killed in a flash fire that swept their capsule during training for the first mission of the Apollo project.
White was born in San Antonio, Texas, educated at the US Military Academy, and joined the US Air Force in 1952. He was the second person to walk in space, the first being the Soviet cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, on 18 March 1965.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.