Actually, it sounds harmless. There is a NASA photo from 1984, which the astronauts Bruce McCandless II depicts. It was recorded by his colleagues when he went on a trip into space. Below him is the earth. It becomes uncomfortable when the story is added to that picture. Because one very crucial thing is missing in the recording.
NASA image with goosebump potential: Bruce McCandless experienced this in space
According to Deutschlandfunk, NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless is probably one of the greatest astronauts the US space agency has ever produced. During the first moon landing he was the communication interface between the control center and the Apollo crew and in 1990 he deployed the Hubble telescope.
However, one of his most impressive achievements was captured in said February 7, 1984 NASA photo. It shows McCandless weightless in space and almost a hundred meters from his Shuttle Challenger (STS-41B mission). What was not there – and this was a first – was a line connection.
A NASA astronaut as the first human satellite
According to NASA, McCandless was doing a “field test” at the time and tested the so-called “Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU)”, a kind of hand-controlled backpack-like nitrogen propulsion system. The photo does not show how threatening the situation was.
In fact, however, McCandless was given special instructions for this maneuver. He had to keep eye contact with the shuttle under all circumstances, turning away was forbidden. NASA feared that he might lose his bearings or his nerves otherwise.
As Deutschlandfunk also reports, the mood in NASA’s control center was extremely tense. But Bruce McCandless probably had a snappy saying on his lips and took up the most famous sentence in space travel:
“It may have been a small step for Neil at the time, but it’s one hell of a leap for me.”
NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless, February 7, 1984
NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless passed away on December 21, 2017 in Los Angeles. In the end, he was the first person to float freely in space without a safety line.
Sources: NASA, Deutschlandfunk