STS–41B MMU Test by Bruce McCandless
That small speck hovering above the Earth is astronaut Bruce McCandless. On this 1984 mission, he used the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) to fly farther away from the Space Shuttle without a tether than any astronaut before. McCandless first tested the nitrogen–jet-propelled backpack near Challenger’s payload bay, and later flew 98 meters (320 feet) away from the shuttle.
This photograph of the sole astronaut floating above the Earth’s surface recalls similar images of the Earth floating in space taken during the Apollo program.
Photo credit: NASA
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