To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert
Advert
Advert

Story behind 'most terrifying photo' ever taken in space is chilling

Gerrard Kaonga

Published 
| Last updated 

Story behind 'most terrifying photo' ever taken in space is chilling

Featured Image Credit: NASA

The astronaut at the centre of the 'most terrifying photo' ever taken in space has explained how liberated he felt in a moment most would understandably be panicking.

Sure, we all take the odd frightening photo - a terrible slip, Halloween snaps or whatever - but NASA has claimed to maintain the moniker of ‘most terrifying photo’ taken in space.

To paint the pretty bleak picture, it is of an astronaut in space floating above planet Earth, unattached to anything - essentially what many nightmares are made of.

Advert

Loading…

The astronaut in question was Bruce McCandless II, and the history-making photo was taken from the space shuttle Challenger on February 7, 1984.

What would have been a horrifying moment for anyone who likes to keep their feet firmly on solid earth, McCandless explained how he didn’t quite feel like that.

Though he did admit that there was a lot of tension at NASA at the time.

Advert

On the day that the photo was taken, he and fellow astronaut Bob Stewart strapped themselves into Manned Maneuvering Units (MMUs) and left the spacecraft.

This allowed them to move around in open space while being untethered as they and the Challenger spacecraft moved at around 28,900 kilometers per hour.

Bruce McCandless II photographed outside the Challenger space shuttle on February 7, 1984. Credit: NASA/Space Frontiers/Getty Images
Bruce McCandless II photographed outside the Challenger space shuttle on February 7, 1984. Credit: NASA/Space Frontiers/Getty Images

Speaking of the incident in 2015, while being interviewed by The Guardian, McCandless recalled the atmosphere at NASA during the space walk.

Advert

"My wife was at mission control, and there was quite a bit of apprehension,” he said.

"I wanted to say something similar to Neil [Armstrong] when he landed on the moon, so I said, 'It may have been a small step for Neil, but it’s a heck of a big leap for me.' That loosened the tension a bit."

McCandless had even joked that he previously had been told about the silent vacuum of space, but things were hardly peaceful with multiple people in his radio asking a barrage of questions.

He also explained during the space walk he hardly noticed the rapid speeds he was moving at.

Advert
McCandless admitted that during the space walk, he hardly noticed the rapid speeds he was moving at. Credit: NASA/Space Frontiers/Getty Images
McCandless admitted that during the space walk, he hardly noticed the rapid speeds he was moving at. Credit: NASA/Space Frontiers/Getty Images

“My walk lasted six hours 45 minutes, and I stayed alongside the shuttle the whole time, moving 100 yards one way, 100 yards back,"he explained.

"I was travelling at more than 18,000 miles an hour, but wasn’t aware of it, because the shuttle was going at the same speed.

“It was only when I looked at the Earth that I could tell we were moving fairly rapidly. At one point, I noticed we were over the Florida peninsula: it was reassuring to see something I recognized.”

Advert

That is certainly a story I'm sure McCandless has brought up at parties over the years, but in all fairness it probably trumps the usual holiday trip stories.

Topics: Technology, NASA, Space

Gerrard Kaonga
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

News

Chilling last words shouted at missing teen after he jumped off cruise ship into shark-infested waters

8 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

MIT student creates device that is able to search the entire internet using just his mind

8 hours ago