On Dec. 21, 2017, the mission specialist on the STS-41B and STS-31, the former astronaut from NASA – Bruce McCandless has passed away at the age of 80.
Perhaps this man was best remembered as the subject of a very famous photograph from NASA, flying alongside the space shuttle – which made him the very first astronaut to fly untethered from his spacecraft. But this isn’t the highlight of his career. He was also Mission Control communicator for Nil Armstrong moonwalk on the mission Apollo 11.
Robert Lightfoot from NASA, said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bruce’s family. He will always be known for his iconic photo flying the MMU.”
In April 1966, McCandless who back in the day was a retired U.S. Navy captain, was one of the luckiest 19 astronauts that were selected by NASA. He was also part of the Apollo 14 mission and a back up pilot on the Skylab mission.
Back in 2015, he wrote this on his very famous spacewalk: My wife [Bernice] was at mission control, and there was quite a bit of apprehension. 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.”
Mc Candles was born in Boston, on the 8th of June, 1937. Later on, he graduated from Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in California. In 1058, the United States Naval Academy gave him a bachelor degree of science and 7 years later he took his master degree on the Stanford University for Electrical engineering. He also has one more master degree in Business Administration.
He has recieved many awards and honors: the Legion of Merit (1988); Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (1985); National Defense Service Medal; American Expeditionary Service Medal; NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1974); American Astronautical Society Victor A. Prather Award (1975 & 1985); NASA Space Flight Medal (1984); NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal (1985); National Aeronautic Association Collier Trophy (1985); Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum Trophy (1985).