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human satellites


Astronauts sometimes have to leave their spacecraft and go on spacewalks. However, they are usually still attached to their spacecraft by some means so that they do not float away into space.


Image of Bruce McCandless using a manned maneuvering unit


For astronaut Bruce McCandless things were a little different. On 7th February 1984, while wearing a special backpack called the manned maneuvering unit, he floated free, a few metres away from the space shuttle Challenger. At that time Bruce was travelling at about 28,000 kilometres per hour and became the first ever human satellite!


Find out more about astronauts in space in shuttle and space stations.


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