Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
August 1, 1999
Explanation: Pictured above is the first american astronaut to walk in space: Edward White. White is seen floating outside the Gemini 4 capsule in 1965. The term spacewalk is deceiving since astronauts do not actually walk - they float - usually without their feet touching anything solid. White was connected to the spaceship only by a thick tether. He carried a Hand-Held Self-Maneuvering Unit which expelled gas allowing him to move around. A maneuvering device is necessary in the free-fall of space since there is nothing (besides the spacecraft) to push off of to guide movements.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.