The story of the astronaut photo floating in space without attachment: why did NASA do it?

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An amazing image showing a free astronaut floating freely in space, circulates on social networks and many users have doubted the veracity of the photo and consider it a montage for the purpose of impressing. Despite all the questions, the image is real according to NASA.

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One Twitter user, who drew attention to the image, wrote: “An insane photo of astronaut Bruce McCandless II, the first person to fly untethered in space.”

However, many were quick to describe the photo as “nonsense” and claimed it was unreal. However, the image that has sparked speculation that it was falsely created is real.

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Astronaut photo story floating in space

The image, also shared on Facebook in November 2021, shows an astronaut who ventured within at least 100 meters of the orbiter and was at least 105 kilometers above Earth.

The Facebook post shared on Nov. 4, 2021 stated that the image is “probably one of the best astronaut-related photos ever taken!” Although on the web they dismissed it as unbelievable or said it was Photoshop, the event took place in 1984.

Bruce McCandless in space

Bruce McCandless in space

It was the STS-41-B mission, the tenth that integrated the Space Transportation System (STS) program and the fourth of the Challenger shuttle. One of the objectives of this mission, in addition to the launch of two satellites, was perform a spacewalk using a jetpack, without attacks.

Bruce McCandless, the man pictured, was a retired US Navy captain and was one of 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. After a series of test maneuvers in and above the compartment of the payload of the shuttle Challenger, McCandless performed a 45-minute free flight at a distance of more than one hundred meters from the ship.

That February 7, 1984, McCandless performed the first spacewalk that didn’t use restraints or umbilical cords.

The astronaut, who became famous for this image, died in 2017 in California.

Bruce McCandless.  He died in 2017.

Bruce McCandless. He died in 2017.

What did NASA say about unlimited spacewalks?

According to a NASA statement, McCandless used the manned maneuvering unit (MMU) on the STB-41B. Both NASA and the Martin Marietta Corporation were awarded the Collier Trophy in 1984 for the development of the device and for the rescue of three decommissioned satellites, with special recognition to McCandless and NASA’s Charles E Whitsett Jr and Martin Marietta’s Walter W Bollendonk.

The mission in which Bruce McCandless participated was aimed at the recovery of the satellites.

The mission in which Bruce McCandless participated was aimed at the recovery of the satellites.

The award-winning manned maneuvering unit used in 1984 was specifically designed for satellite rescueunlike previous missions of this type, which were designed for experimental missions.

In that year, the MMU allowed some astronauts to maneuver in space, outside the spacecraft and without any connecting cables. NASA has confirmed that while flight is the primary function, life support is also the most alert.

Source: Clarin

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