Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 11, 1997
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Floating Free in Space
Credit: NASA, STS-41B Crew

Explanation: NASA astronauts can float free in space without any connection to a spaceship. Here astronaut Bruce McCandless maneuvers outside the Space Shuttle Challenger by firing nitrogen gas thrusters on his manned maneuvering unit (MMU). This picture was taken in 1984 and records this first untethered spacewalk. The MMU was developed because astronauts found tethers restrictive.

Tomorrow's picture: Impact!

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.