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.

August 1, 1999
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Walking in Space
Credit: James McDivitt, Gemini 4, NASA

Explanation: Pictured above is the first american astronaut to walk in space: Edward White. White is seen floating outside the Gemini 4 capsule in 1965. The term spacewalk is deceiving since astronauts do not actually walk - they float - usually without their feet touching anything solid. White was connected to the spaceship only by a thick tether. He carried a Hand-Held Self-Maneuvering Unit which expelled gas allowing him to move around. A maneuvering device is necessary in the free-fall of space since there is nothing (besides the spacecraft) to push off of to guide movements.

Tomorrow's picture: Earth Below

< Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About APOD >

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.