First spacewalk without insurance (5 photos + 1 video)

Category: Space, PEGI 0+
14 December 2023

If you're older than Gen Z, you may remember the most terrifying space photo yet, featuring astronaut Bruce McCandless II in outer space. Almost 40 years later, a video taken from the Challenger space shuttle on February 7, 1984 has been published.

On February 7, 1984, Bruce and fellow astronaut Bob Stewart boarded the Manned Maneuvering Units (MMU) and left the shuttle.

Bruce McCandless became the first person to work in outer space without a safety cord.

In an article for the Guardian, Bruce recalled:

"My wife was in mission control and things were pretty tense. I wanted to say something like what Neil [Armstrong] said when he landed on the moon, so I said, 'It may have been a small step for Neil, but for me That’s a hell of a leap.’ It eased the tension a little bit.”

The manned maneuvering modules allowed the two astronauts to move at a speed of 28,900 kilometers per hour, which was practically undetectable.

“I don’t like all these cliches like ‘escaped from the sullen confines of the Earth,’” said Bruce. “But when I found myself outside the ship, this phrase came in very handy. It was a wonderful feeling, a mixture of personal delight and professional pride: behind us were years of preparation."

In the video, Bruce slowly moves away from the ship. His flight lasted 5 hours 55 minutes

After the Challenger disaster in 1986, many aspects affecting the safety of astronauts were reconsidered. The use of manned maneuvering modules was considered risky, and their operation was stopped.

Recipient of numerous awards, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 1974 and the Legion of Merit in 1988, McCandless died on December 21, 2017, at the age of 80.

In 1986, Bob Stewart received the Army rank of brigadier general and moved from NASA to the US Army Strategic Defense Command in Huntsville, Alabama, resigning 6 years later. He is now 81 years old.

Add your comment
  • bowtiesmilelaughingblushsmileyrelaxedsmirk

You might be interested in: