Today’s Tidbits: December 23, 2017

Today’s Tidbits: December 23, 2017

Here are our tidbits for December 23, 2017: a spectacular view of Washington, DC and Baltimore from the ISS; amazing view of the SpaceX Iridium launch from CBS TV in Phoenix; a farewell to Bruce McCandless. Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter for more news and live tweeting of events.

Baltimore and Washington from ISS

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, one of the six crew members currently aboard the International Space Station, tweeted this spectacular view of Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC this evening. The two cities are about 40 miles apart.

SpaceX’s Iridium Launch — A View From Phoenix, AZ

A helicopter pilot for the CBS affiliate in Phoenix, AZ captured this amazing view of the SpaceX launch of 10 Iridium NEXT communications satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA last night.   It captivated people along the southern California coast, but obviously was quite visible from much further away. The Falcon 9 launch was successful. SpaceX did not attempt to recover the first stage this time.

Farewell to Bruce McCandless

Former NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless passed away on Thursday at the age of 80.  Selected as an astronaut in 1966, he is most famous for a 1984 space shuttle mission is which he made the first untethered spacewalk. The photo on the left shows him against the backdrop of space, attached only to his Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) backpack, which allowed him to move away from and back to the shuttle.  NASA released a statement with excerpts from McCandless’s recollections of what it was like that day [].

NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless poses in his Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU). Credit: NASA
NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless flies a Manned Maneuvering Unit, making the first untethered flight from the space shuttle. STS-41B, February 1984. Credit: NASA




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