The first person to fly freely and untethered in space, has died at the age of 80. NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless II died on Thursday in California, NASA’s Johnson Space Center announced Friday. No cause of death was given.
McCandless was famously photographed in 1984 flying with a hefty spacewalker’s jetpack, alone in the cosmic blackness above Earth, while becoming the very first astronaut to fly unattached to this spacecraft in a Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).
He traveled more than 300 feet away from the space shuttle Challenger during that historic spacewalk. McCandless said he was not nervous about the mission, and the he was ‘grossly over-trained.’ ‘I was just anxious to get out there and fly. I felt very comfortable,’ he told the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo., in 2006.