On social media, a picture of an astronaut moving around in space has gone viral. Others questioned the veracity of the photograph while many wondered how this was possible.
Untethered spacewalks are real, whether you believe it or not.
According to a USA Today story, portions of the image that went viral were stolen from a photograph shot in 1984 of astronaut Bruce McCandless II during the first untethered spacewalk.
Even if the untethered spacewalk indeed happened, the image posted on Twitter was undoubtedly edited. The popular photo’s mountain ranges are not visible in the actual NASA image, according to USA Today.
Instead, a mountain range shot acquired on a flight from Toronto to Beijing was used to create the Earth image.
“Insane picture of astronaut Bruce McCandless II, the first person to conduct an untethered free flight in space” – a Twitter user tweeted this remark along with an attached copy of the viral image.
NASA did follow up on this by saying, “Astronaut Bruce McCandless is seen floating above Earth. He is farther away from the safety of his spaceship than any astronaut had ever been.
This was made possible by a jet pack on his back called the Manned Maneuvering Unit, or MMU. McCandless tested the MMU near the space shuttle. He then went ‘free-flying’ to a distance of 320 feet away from the space shuttle.”
The above statement was posted on the official website of NASA.
When this picture was obtained, McCandless was 273.5 kilometres above the surface of the planet. McCandless was indeed reported as “a fluffy white gingerbread guy” hovering above the American continent by The Times.
Age 80, he passed away in 2017.
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
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This post is tagged under: Twitter, Technology, NASA, space, spacewalk, international space station, astronomy, viral, viral photo
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