Free Flying

Mission Specialist Bruce McCandless II, is seen further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut has ever been. This space first was made possible by the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU, a nitrogen jet propelled backpack. After a series of test maneuvers inside and above Challenger's payload bay, McCandless went "free-flying" to a distance of 320 feet away from the Orbiter. This stunning orbital panorama view shows McCandless out there amongst the black and blue of Earth and space. (02/12/1984)


Credit: NASA


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.


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  • o_r_i_t 5y

    This is quite amazing. I wish I could imagine how it felt for him.
  • Andrew Jimenez 5y

    This seems absolutely terrifying
  • ☞ ☼ ♪ 5y

  • Jérémie Tessaro 5y

    just amazing Oo
  • Francisco Jaque 5y

    F*** amazing !!! I just love it :D
  • katomania 5y

    lost in space .. amazing
  • thegreatlandoni 5y

    Thank you NASA for putting all these fabulous photos on Flickr ! ... Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you !

    A long time ago in a galaxy far away, when I worked for Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin), I met Bruce McCandliss, shook his hand and got his autograph.
  • Brandon Skinner 5y

    The world's most insane portrait!
  • James Moore 4y

    incredible image!
  • Brad Chmielewski 4y

  • 3y

    Insane! Wonder at which point, he thought,"maybe this was a bad idea."
  • Pan . 3y

    Absolutely beautiful.
  • Kam 3y

    This is amazing and spectacular.
  • Paul Smith 3y

    Open the podbay door, Hal. HAL!!
  • Tinkers Nistrek 2y

    I love it <3
  • Jasper Zondervan 2y

    Ah.. What a huge set of balls you need as an astronaut. Wonderful!
  • JML 1K 1y

    That we only heard about this through flickr shows how jaded we are about this as a society - if you think about it, this one little maneuver is about as extreme a move as an individual can make. There is only infinity in every direction. Pretty sobering.
  • sonny bob cardinal 1y

    George Clooney double!!
  • ambrosiosol 1y

  • tamirshorshy 1y

    If you get close to the astronaut in the picture, it seems like he wasn't really there. It seems like he was edited in...
    anyway a butyful picture!
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Taken on April 22, 2010
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