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17th Dec 2023

Footage behind ‘most terrifying photo’ ever taken in space is a scenario out of people’s nightmares

Callum Boyle

Most terrifying photo

Scary stuff

Footage behind the “most terrifying photo” ever taken in space is leaving people feeling rather scared.

The photo, which was originally taken in February 1984, has resurfaced on social media.

It’s proper name is the Space Shuttle Challenger launched from Kennedy Space Center on a mission known as STS-41-B.

This mission alone produced one of the most iconic pictures of all time, as astronaut Bruce McCandless II made history as he embarked on the first untethered spacewalk.

McCandless was one of 19 lucky people selected in 1966 to reach the Moon and among the other names were Vance D. Brand, a commander of STS-41-B, alongside the likes of pilot Robert L. Gibson and mission specialists Robert L. Stewart.

On February 7, and again on February 9, McCandless and Stewart strapped into the MMUs and walked untethered in space for the very first time.

“It was supposed to be an early-day Buck Rogers flying belt, if you know what I mean, except it didn’t have the person zooming … real fast,” recalled Brand.

“It was a huge device on your back that was very well designed [and] redundant so that it was very safe, but [it] move[d] along at about one to two or three miles per hour. It used cold nitrogen gas coming out in spurts to thrust you around and everything.”

Nasa claimed that the pair moved around 100 yards from the shuttle and both would return multiple times before heading off again.

Brand added: “The trick was not to let [the EVA crewmen] get too far out, such that orbital mechanics would take over and separate us.

“We didn’t want them lost in space. We didn’t want to come back and face their wives if we lost either one of them up there.”

Despite the impressive nature of the photo, it hasn’t stopped people feeling “terrified” after seeing it.

“The sh*t my literal nightmares are made out of,” one Reddit user penned.

While a second added: “I have had this nightmare recently, somehow I was on the ISS and I was tethered then suddenly just… not. It was terrifying and I felt certain doom then just woke up. I shouldn’t have watched this video lol. Now I don’t want to sleep.”

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