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Footage behind 'most terrifying photo' ever taken in space is a scenario out of people's nightmares

Callum Jones

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Footage behind 'most terrifying photo' ever taken in space is a scenario out of people's nightmares

Featured Image Credit: NASA

Exploring space is incredibly fascinating, though that doesn't mean some scary things don't go on up there.

And footage behind the 'most terrifying photo' ever taken in space is certainly a scenario out of people's nightmares.

The footage has recently resurfaced on social media, in particular on the 'nextf**kinglevel' Reddit forum. Watch it below:

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It comes from February 1984, as the Space Shuttle Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center on a mission known as STS-41-B.

To this day, the mission produced one of the most iconic pictures of all time, as astronaut Bruce McCandless II made history as he embarked on the first untethered spacewalk.

At the time, McCandless was a member of NASA’s Astronaut Group 5, a very prestigious group of 19 people selected in 1966 to reach the Moon.

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The group also included Vance D. Brand, a commander of STS-41-B, alongside the likes of pilot Robert L. Gibson and mission specialists Robert L. Stewart.

Some people are seeing it as the stuff of nightmares. Credit: NASA
Some people are seeing it as the stuff of nightmares. Credit: NASA

On 7 February, and again on 9 February, McCandless and Stewart strapped into the MMUs and walked untethered in space for the very first time.

“It was supposed to be an early-day Buck Rogers flying belt, if you know what I mean, except it didn’t have the person zooming … real fast,” recalled Brand.

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"It was a huge device on your back that was very well designed [and] redundant so that it was very safe, but [it] move[d] along at about one to two or three miles per hour. It used cold nitrogen gas coming out in spurts to thrust you around and everything."

Nasa say the pair moved approximately 100 yards from the shuttle and returned multiple times before heading back out on their ventures again.

What a picture though. Credit: NASA
What a picture though. Credit: NASA

Brand said: "The trick was not to let [the EVA crewmen] get too far out, such that orbital mechanics would take over and separate us.

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"We didn’t want them lost in space. We didn’t want to come back and face their wives if we lost either one of them up there."

While it was all rather impressive, those online have described it as the 'most terrifying photo' ever, which is certainly a fair point.

"The sh*t my literal nightmares are made out of," one Reddit user penned.

While a second added: "I have had this nightmare recently, somehow I was on the ISS and I was tethered then suddenly just… not. It was terrifying and I felt certain doom then just woke up. I shouldn’t have watched this video lol. Now I don't want to sleep."

Topics: Technology, NASA, Space

Callum Jones
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