The photo of astronaut Bruce McCandless II, taken in February 1984, made a huge impact on social networks, 38 years later. NASA released a photo that recalls that moment when the engineer and pilot were also swimming, completely unrelated, in space.
Far from the safety of the space shuttle, the man spent time 273 km away. on the surface of the ground.
The photo was taken when the astronaut had to leave the Space Shuttle Challenger to rehearse for a satellite repair mission.
The picture was marked by a special achievement, where This was the first time an astronaut had moved alone through the dark void of space while the spacecraft was about 100 meters away.
“He survived only with the help of his manned maneuvering unit,” it was explained on the official NASA website when referring to one of the most impressive scenes of the space race.
McCandless, who died in 2017, and fellow astronaut Robert Stewart were the first to experience an “unrestricted spacewalk” during the Space Shuttle mission 41-B in 1984.
“It was a wonderful feeling, a mixture of personal ecstasy and professional pride. It took me many years to get to this point. Recalling that experience, many people were skeptical that it would work, and after 300 hours of flight training, I was training too much.”
Powered by Nitrogen Gates
The Manned Maneuvering Module (UMT) was powered by nitrogen jets and was used to assist in satellite deployment and recovery.
With a mass of more than 140 kilograms, UMT is heavy on Earth, but, like everything in space, is weightless when in orbit. Then this kind of Jetpack It has been replaced by the drive unit on the back SAFER.
The cool photo was shared on Twitter by a popular science page called Curiosity. “This is probably the scariest satellite image yet.”
“Astronaut Bruce McCandless II is floating completely unrestricted, far from the safety of the Space Shuttle, with only a manned maneuvering unit keeping him alive. The first person in history to do so.”
The photo garnered more than 200,000 likes in just one day, as well as more than 28,000 retweets. Re-sharing the photo, one user wrote: “There is nothing in this universe that could make me think of doing this.” Another wrote: “This photo is hard to believe.”
The famous space walk
About his famous space biography, McCandless II wrote in 2015: “My wife (Bernice) was in the mission control center and there was a great deal of anxiety. I wanted to say something similar to Neil [Armstrong] When he landed on the moon, he said, “It might have been a small step for Neal, but a giant leap for me.” It eased the tension a little bit.”
“The main objective of the nine-day Challenger mission was to launch and deploy two communications satellites, and the march was part of that work. It was a long time in preparation, decades ahead.”
Additionally, he noted that he helped develop the aircraft package. “We were still testing and tweaking it six weeks before boarding. I was so pleased that I was selected for the mission, it was a vague selection process, with a lot of shifting between commanding and managing the mission.
In his text, McCandless detailed what the previous state was like and the moment he had to come out to float: “The day before the walk, we reduced the pressure and increased the oxygen in the shuttle to remove nitrogen from the bloodstream. Otherwise, I would fold.”
On the same day, I put on my underwear, with its air ducts and flexible tubes filled with water to cool off, and my compression suit. The crew said, “You’re ready. Go! Go! Go!” So I went into the airlock, closed the hatch, depressurized, opened it and left.
“My walk took six hours and 45 minutes, and I stayed next to the bus the whole time, moving 100 yards one way and 100 yards back. I was traveling at over 28,000 kilometers per hour, but I didn’t realize it because the shuttle was going at the same speed.”
“Only when I looked at the ground did I realize we were moving really fast. At one point, I noticed we were crossing Florida – it was reassuring to see something that I recognized.”
(With information from Radio Sudamericana)