Maybe it’s the vastness or, perhaps, the element of the unknown, but space is a mesmerizing place. As we explore it and learn more about space, the more and more fascinating it becomes. Even for us earthbound individuals, there is something about its awesomeness that intrigues us. And when we see photos such as this stunning image below, there is no wonder why we keep sending astronauts and rovers up there to look around:
The above photo is of famous astronaut Bruce McCandless was taken by fellow astronauts, Robert Gibson, in 1984 when the pair were on a mission aboard the Challenger. The photograph was taken using an iconic Hasselblad from inside the spacecraft. The spacewalk we see McCandless doing, was the first untethered spacewalk, meaning he was in no way tied to the Challenger. McCandless was essentially in orbit, with the help of his special Manned Maneuvering Unit, or nitrogen fueled jetpack space suit.
The space photo is stunning in itself, but what is truly special about the image isn’t even apparent. When the photo was taken McCandless was travelling at around 17,500 miles per hour (relevant to earth) at 150 miles above earth which we see in the background. The stunt, and the great photograph taken by Gibson, earned McCandless a large following of fans and even to this day he still makes appearances and signs autographs for his adoring fans.
As technology advances, astronauts only use the special space suits as an emergency backup since most of the tasks that would require an astronaut to spacewalk are now down using robotic arms.
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