Top Ten Shuttle Memories
Highlights from America's longest-lived space program.
- By Tony Reichhardt
- AirSpaceMag.com, July 08, 2011
Bruce McCandless’s solo test flight of the Manned Maneuvering Unit backpack, during mission STS-41B in February 1984, produced some of the shuttle program’s most spectacular photos. The nitrogen gas-propelled jetpack, which McCandless helped to develop, allowed early shuttle astronauts to fly up to 100 yards from their vehicle without a tether. By 1985, though, the bulky MMUs had been retired. They were replaced by smaller backpacks on later spacewalks.