For some people the thought of floating in space can be liberating, for others it can be unnerving. A photo evoking both of these feelings went viral on social media.
Netizens have been mesmerized by the photo of astronaut Bruce McCandless II floating in the dark void of space as the blue surface of the Earth looms beneath him. The photo, taken nearly four decades ago in February 1984, was clicked as McCandless II stepped off the Challenger space shuttle to rehearse for one Satellite Repair Mission.
This was the first time an astronaut entered space while not attached to the spacecraft.
After a 1984 New York Times Article, McCandless II was 170 miles (273.5 kilometers) above the surface of the earth when this photo was taken. The article states that McCandless II orbited the Earth alongside his space shuttle at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour, but due to the “virtual vacuum of space, he felt none of its speed.”
The McCandless II spacewalk photo was shared on Twitter by a popular science site known as @Sciencenature14. While the photo was tweeted, the Twitter page described it as “perhaps the most terrifying space photo yet.” The tweet soon garnered over 1.5 lakh likes in just one day.
Perhaps the most terrifying space photo yet. Astronaut Bruce McCandless II floats completely unbound, away from the safety of the space shuttle, with nothing but his manned maneuvering unit keeping him alive. The first person in history to do that.
Photo credit: NASA pic.twitter.com/uapVOFwS2u
— Curiosity (@Sciencenature14) June 20, 2022
This represents a level of trust in people and technology that I will never have.
— Overeducated Woman TessaLights💛💙 (@TheRoselleWay) June 20, 2022
Somehow this photo looks as fake as the US first landed on the moon in 1969.
– Baji Please (@BajiBitte) June 21, 2022
This one always gave me goosebumps. Recorded by Michael Collins, it contains every human being who has ever existed but him. pic.twitter.com/8B3oWI3GIb
— Spa Foot (@SpaFoot2) June 20, 2022
Great no neighbors, tv, politics, pandemic, high prices or anything that bothers you. That’s as far away from people as you can imagine. pic.twitter.com/ad36IZyFrY
— STEVE JET CITY (@stevejetcity) June 20, 2022
Imagine you decide to be the first person in the story to do this, but forget to untie the rope, so you accidentally drag the entire spaceship with you into the sun.
— Colin Troy 🇺🇦 (@feetsby) June 20, 2022
Humidified, undisturbed, in my orbit, thrives https://t.co/HZ3SSMVnQI
— Megan Fox 🏳️⚧️ (@glassbottommeg) June 21, 2022
If I were an astronaut I would only do stuff like this to take photos for Instagram and caption them like “In My Own Lane Fr 🤧🌍” https://t.co/JRG1xkXvu1
— ^_^ (@Bruhsepheus) June 21, 2022
looks like shit to me lol do you really think the photo is real?
— Int. | cryptointi.sol (@KryptoInti) June 20, 2022
Swap the word terrifying for “wrong” and I’d agree
— Rudi (@Rudi16910728) June 20, 2022
One Twitter user wrote: “If I were an astronaut I would only do stuff like this to take photos for Instagram and caption them like ‘In My Own Lane.’