Author Topic: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)  (Read 2369 times)

Offline collectSPACE

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Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« on: 12/22/2017 07:37 PM »
Bruce McCandless, astronaut who donned jetpack on first tetherless spacewalk, dies
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-122217a-astronaut-bruce-mccandless-obituary.html

The first astronaut to become his own spacecraft, strapping on a jet-powered backpack and flying tether free during a historic spacewalk, has died.

Bruce McCandless II, who also served as Neil Armstrong's contact in Mission Control when the Apollo 11 moonwalker took "one small step" onto the lunar surface in 1969, died on Thursday (Dec. 21), NASA confirmed. He was 80.

Offline tyrred

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #1 on: 12/22/2017 07:41 PM »
Rest in space, Bruce. Your memory is with us.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #2 on: 12/22/2017 09:03 PM »
 :'(

« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 09:04 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #3 on: 12/22/2017 09:21 PM »
December 22, 2017
MEDIA ADVISORY J17-017

Astronaut Bruce McCandless II Dies at 80

Former NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless II, mission specialist on the STS-41B and STS-31 missions, died Dec. 21, 2017, at the age of 80.
McCandless is perhaps best remembered as the subject of a famous NASA photograph flying alongside the space shuttle in the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) – the first astronaut to fly untethered from his spacecraft. His time as an astronaut encompassed much more than that mission, including serving as the mission-control communicator for Neil Armstrong's and Buzz Aldrin's moonwalk on the Apollo 11 mission.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bruce's family," said Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator. "He will always be known for his iconic photo flying the MMU."

McCandless, a retired U. S. Navy captain, was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He was a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 14 mission and was backup pilot for the first crewed Skylab mission. He flew as a mission specialist on two space shuttle missions. On STS-41B in 1984, he performed the famous spacewalk and on STS-31 in 1990 he helped deploy the Hubble Space Telescope.

Of his famous spacewalk, he wrote in 2015: "My wife [Bernice] was at mission control, and there was quite a bit of apprehension. I wanted to say something similar to Neil [Armstrong] when he landed on the moon, so I said, 'It may have been a small step for Neil, but it’s a heck of a big leap for me.' That loosened the tension a bit."

Born June 8, 1937, in Boston, McCandless graduated from Woodrow Wilson Senior High School, Long Beach, California. He received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1958, a master of science degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University in 1965, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston at Clear Lake City in 1987.

He was a co-investigator on the M-509 astronaut maneuvering unit experiment flown in the Skylab Program and collaborated on the development of the MMU. He was responsible for crew inputs to the development of hardware and procedures for the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS), the Hubble Space Telescope, the Solar Maximum Repair Mission, and the Space Station Program. McCandless logged more than 312 hours in space, including four hours of flight time using the MMU.

Among the awards and honors received by McCandless are the Legion of Merit (1988); Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (1985); National Defense Service Medal; American Expeditionary Service Medal; NASA Exceptional Service Medal (1974); American Astronautical Society Victor A. Prather Award (1975 & 1985); NASA Space Flight Medal (1984); NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal (1985); National Aeronautic Association Collier Trophy (1985); Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum Trophy (1985). He was awarded one patent for the design of a tool tethering system that was used during shuttle spacewalks.

Captain McCandless was the son of the late Rear Admiral (USN) and Mrs. Bruce McCandless. Admiral McCandless received the Congressional Medal of Honor for the naval battle of Guadalcanal, December 12-13, 1942. He passed away in 1968. His paternal grandfather, Commodore (later Rear Admiral) Byron McCandless, USN, received the Navy Cross for World War I, and his maternal grandfather, Captain Willis Winter Bradley, USN, was the first recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War I.

Capt. McCandless is survived by his wife, Ellen Shields McCandless of Conifer, Colorado; his son, Bruce McCandless III of Austin, Texas, and his wife, Patricia; his daughter, Tracy McCandless, of Islamorada, Florida, and two granddaughters, Emma Rose and Carson Clare McCandless of Austin. He is also survived by a brother, Douglas M. McCandless of Washington, D.C.; and two sisters, Sue M. Woodridge of Texas, and Rosemary V. McCandless of Dallas, Texas.

Find McCandless’ biography at:

https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/mccandless-b.html

Find photos of McCandless at:

https://www.nasa.gov/content/images/bruce-mccandless

Offline zodiacchris

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #4 on: 12/22/2017 09:29 PM »
Godspeed, Captain!  :-\

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #5 on: 12/22/2017 09:37 PM »
I remember you flying the MMU as if it were yesterday leaving us with an "iconic image for the ages"... Thank you for your service and may you rest in peace sir....
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #6 on: 12/23/2017 04:09 AM »
Ron's Piece (Last Redez-Vous) composed for Ron McNair. After his death on Challenger, Bruce McCandless convinced Jean Michel Jarre to perform it, with Kirk Whalum playing saxophone in place of Ron McNair. Godspeed, Bruce, Godspeed, Ron.




Offline Lewis007

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #7 on: 12/23/2017 07:02 AM »
RIP, Mr. McCandless.

I still vividly remember his 41B mission during which he made the first untethered spacewalk.

I even had to think of him a few weeks ago while watching the TV show Legends & Lies - The Real West. In the episode about Wild Bill Hickock, a certain David Colbert McCanles was killed by Hickock or the farmer where he was working at the time (July 1861). I looked it up, and indeed: this McCanles was the great-great-grandfather of Bruce McCandless.

Offline Hog

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #8 on: 12/23/2017 11:50 PM »
Wow, I just posted his MMU pic last week.

Rest In Peace, Sir.
Paul

Offline catdlr

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #9 on: 12/24/2017 12:07 AM »
Astronaut Bruce McCandless II Floats Free in Space


NASA Video
Published on Dec 22, 2017


On Feb. 7, 1984, during the Space Shuttle Challenger’s STS-41B mission, NASA Astronaut Bruce McCandless II makes the first, untethered, free flight spacewalk in the Manned Maneuvering Unit.

(Silent video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvnC--JjDBw?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline catdlr

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #10 on: 12/24/2017 12:08 AM »
NASA Remembers Astronaut Bruce McCandless II


Quote
NASA Video
Published on Dec 22, 2017

Former NASA Astronaut Bruce McCandless II, best known for his iconic free-floating spacewalk on a 1984 shuttle flight, died on Dec. 21. More: https://www.nasa.gov/astronautprofiles/mccandless/

A native of Boston, McCandless II attended the U.S. Naval Academy and served as a naval aviator before joining NASA in 1966. He served in support or backup roles during the Apollo and Skylab programs, including serving as the communicator from mission control to the Apollo 11 crew during their historic 1969 moonwalk.

On Feb. 7, 1984, during the Space Shuttle Challenger’s STS-41B mission, he made the first, untethered, free flight spacewalk in the Manned Maneuvering Unit. In 1990, McCandless II was part of the crew on Space Shuttle Discovery’s STS-31 mission, which deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.

This video is available for download from NASA's Image and Video Library:
https://images.nasa.gov/details-NHQ_2017_1222_NASA%20Remembers%20Astronaut%20Bruce%20McCandless%20II.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR-W0OefB54?t=001


Tony De La Rosa

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #11 on: 12/24/2017 02:38 AM »
I will always remember Bruce McCandless most and best for his stint at CAPCOM during the first EVA of Apollo 14.

Fourteen was Al Shepard's flight, and even when Shepard wasn't your boss in the astronaut office -- he was still your boss.  He was still at the top of the pyramid, and you frakked him off completely at your own peril.

But, hey -- Al was a quarter of a million miles away, Bruce seemed to think.  I can poke fun at him, and he can't go Icy Commander on me in front of the entire world... !

So, here comes Shepard down the LM ladder, on the TV screen, and as he descends, Bruce is commenting on his progress with "...down to the bottom step.  And on the surface."  And you could tell, Al was preparing his pithy First Words, standing there at the foot of the ladder, when 34-year-old Bruce tossed in, to the 47-year-old Shepard, "Not bad for an old man."

So, what's Al gonna do, rebuke his CAPCOM right there?  Bruce figured correctly, Al was in way too good a mood at that point to let a joke that otherwise might have ticked him off to bug him, so Al just inserted "Okay -- you're right!"  Then he proceeded with his prepared first words, "Al is on the surface, and it's been a long way, but we're here."

Bruce, emboldened, went on to toss in tons of little barbs, like coming up with the most complicated mnemonics he could think of for the film magazines.  At one point, Al told Houston he was putting 16-mm mag E (called out "EE" for better clarity), and Bruce responded back "Roger, Esmerelda Ecuador."  You could sort of hear Al start to mutter to himself, searching for a line to top that, when Ed Mitchell interrupted and said "You can't beat him at that game, Al.  He's got a whole list of those sitting next to him."  At which point Al backed down and went about his business grabbing the MET and heading out towards the ALSEP site.

Al got back at Bruce during that little traverse, when he and Ed descended into a swale between the LM and Doublet, and asked if they were still in the field of view of the TV camera.  Bruce tried to be both descriptive and a little fresh and told them "You're visible from, oh, about the armpits up."  At which point Al shot back, barbed but with a smile in his voice, as if to remind Bruce who in this conversation was walking on the Moon and who was not, "Nothing like being up to your armpits in lunar dust!"

It was a pleasure to listen to Bruce during that EVA, laughing and joking and getting away with things he would never had gotten away with in private conversation.  It showed you the humorous, human side of Bruce McCandless, not the guy you recall from the Momentous First Moonwalk, but a guy tossing in barbs and having fun with his boss.

I was so happy to see him fly on Shuttle, especially to test-fly the backpack he helped design.  But I'll still remember him most for his Apollo CAPCOM stints, and particularly that first lunar EVA on Apollo 14...

Godspeed, Captain!

:)
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Stardust9906

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #12 on: 12/24/2017 12:58 PM »
It's a shame the MMU he helped to develop wasn't used more but I'll always remember that first EVA truly one of the most memorable moments of the Shuttle era.

RIP Bruce  :'(
« Last Edit: 12/24/2017 12:59 PM by Stardust9906 »

Offline Hog

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #13 on: 12/24/2017 01:24 PM »
I will always remember Bruce McCandless most and best for his stint at CAPCOM during the first EVA of Apollo 14.

Fourteen was Al Shepard's flight, and even when Shepard wasn't your boss in the astronaut office -- he was still your boss.  He was still at the top of the pyramid, and you frakked him off completely at your own peril.

But, hey -- Al was a quarter of a million miles away, Bruce seemed to think.  I can poke fun at him, and he can't go Icy Commander on me in front of the entire world... !

So, here comes Shepard down the LM ladder, on the TV screen, and as he descends, Bruce is commenting on his progress with "...down to the bottom step.  And on the surface."  And you could tell, Al was preparing his pithy First Words, standing there at the foot of the ladder, when 34-year-old Bruce tossed in, to the 47-year-old Shepard, "Not bad for an old man."

So, what's Al gonna do, rebuke his CAPCOM right there?  Bruce figured correctly, Al was in way too good a mood at that point to let a joke that otherwise might have ticked him off to bug him, so Al just inserted "Okay -- you're right!"  Then he proceeded with his prepared first words, "Al is on the surface, and it's been a long way, but we're here."

Bruce, emboldened, went on to toss in tons of little barbs, like coming up with the most complicated mnemonics he could think of for the film magazines.  At one point, Al told Houston he was putting 16-mm mag E (called out "EE" for better clarity), and Bruce responded back "Roger, Esmerelda Ecuador."  You could sort of hear Al start to mutter to himself, searching for a line to top that, when Ed Mitchell interrupted and said "You can't beat him at that game, Al.  He's got a whole list of those sitting next to him."  At which point Al backed down and went about his business grabbing the MET and heading out towards the ALSEP site.

Al got back at Bruce during that little traverse, when he and Ed descended into a swale between the LM and Doublet, and asked if they were still in the field of view of the TV camera.  Bruce tried to be both descriptive and a little fresh and told them "You're visible from, oh, about the armpits up."  At which point Al shot back, barbed but with a smile in his voice, as if to remind Bruce who in this conversation was walking on the Moon and who was not, "Nothing like being up to your armpits in lunar dust!"

It was a pleasure to listen to Bruce during that EVA, laughing and joking and getting away with things he would never had gotten away with in private conversation.  It showed you the humorous, human side of Bruce McCandless, not the guy you recall from the Momentous First Moonwalk, but a guy tossing in barbs and having fun with his boss.

I was so happy to see him fly on Shuttle, especially to test-fly the backpack he helped design.  But I'll still remember him most for his Apollo CAPCOM stints, and particularly that first lunar EVA on Apollo 14...

Godspeed, Captain!

:)
"Not bad for an old man."
Paul

Offline RIB

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #14 on: 12/25/2017 09:13 PM »
I remember him visiting our high school. The principal introduced him as Bruce MacDonald.

Offline JAFO

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #15 on: 12/25/2017 10:28 PM »
The book Space Shuttle: the First 20 years has a great story by Hoot Gibson about taking the MMU photo.


Godspeed, Capt. McCandless.
Anyone can do the job when things are going right. In this business we play for keeps.
— Ernest K. Gann

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Bruce McCandless II, flew MMU (1937-2017)
« Reply #16 on: 12/27/2017 02:21 PM »
Sorry, only just saw this:

Quote
If you are at #KennedySpaceCenter tomorrow, December 27, please join us for a brief remembrance ceremony honoring astronaut Bruce McCandless outside of Heroes & Legends featuring the Astronaut Hall of Fame at 11 am.

https://twitter.com/explorespaceksc/status/945725675054366721
« Last Edit: 12/27/2017 02:21 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

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