- Bruce McCandless II
name =Bruce McCandless II
date_birth =birth date and age|1937|6|8
Engineer, Naval Pilot
Captain, United States Navy
selection =1966 NASA Group
time =13d 00h 31m
Captain Bruce McCandless II (born June 8, 1937 in
Boston, Massachusetts) is a former naval aviatorwith the United States Navyand NASA astronaut. In the first of his two space shuttlemissions he made the first untethered, free flight using the Manned Maneuvering Unit(pictured below).
McCandless is the son of
Bruce McCandless, a decorated United States Navyhero from World War II. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson Senior High School, Long Beach, California. In 1958 he received a bachelor of sciencedegree from the United States Naval Academy, followed by a master of sciencedegree in Electrical Engineeringfrom Stanford Universityin 1965. In 1987 he received a Master of Business Administrationdegree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
United States Navy
McCandless graduated second in a class of 899 from the Naval Academy (Class of 1958), along with
John McCainand John Poindexter. Subsequently, he received flight training from the Naval Aviation Training Commandat bases in Pensacola, Florida, and Kingsville, Texas.
In March 1960 he was designated a naval aviator and proceeded to NAS Key West, for weapons system and carrier landing training in the F-6A Skyray.
Between December 1960 and February 1964 he was assigned to
Fighter Squadron 102(VF-102), flying the Skyray and the F-4B Phantom II. He saw duty aboard USS "Forrestal" and USS "Enterprise", including the latter's participation in the Cuban Missile Crisis.
For three months in early 1964, he was an instrument flight instructor in
Attack Squadron 43(VA-43) at NAS Oceana, and then reported to the Naval Reserve Officer Training CorpsUnit at Stanford Universityfor graduate studies in electrical engineering.
During naval service he gained flying proficiency in the
T-33BShootingstar, T-38A Talon, F-4B Phantom II, F-6A Skyray, F-11 Tiger, TF-9J Cougar, T-1 Seastar, and T-34B Mentorairplane, and the Bell 47Ghelicopter. He logged more than 5,200 hours flying time—5,000 hours in jet aircraft.
McCandless was one of the 19
astronauts selected by NASAin April 1966. He was a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 14mission, served as CAPCOM when Neil Armstrong first set his foot on the moon and was backup pilot for the first manned Skylabmission (SL-1/SL-2). He was a co-investigator on the M-509astronaut maneuvering unit experiment which was flown in the Skylab Program, and collaborated on the development of the Manned Maneuvering Unit(MMU) used during Shuttle EVAs.
McCandless logged over 312 hours in space, including 4 hours of MMU flight time. He flew as a
mission specialiston STS-41-Band STS-31.
"Challenger" launched from
Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on February 3, 1984. The flight deployed two communications satellites, and flight-tested rendezvous sensors and computer programs for the first time.
This mission marked the first checkout of the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) and
Manipulator Foot Restraint(MFR). McCandless made the first, untethered, free flight on each of the two MMUs carried on board.
After eight days in orbit, "Challenger" made the first landing on the runway at Kennedy Space Center on
February 11, 1984.
On this five-day "Discovery" flight, launched on
April 24, 1990from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the crew deployed the Hubble Space Telescopefrom their record-setting altitude of 380 miles (612 km).
"Discovery" landed at
Edwards Air Force Base, California, on April 29, 1990.
Legion of Merit(1988)
Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal(1985)
National Defense Service Medal
American Expeditionary Service Medal
NASA Exceptional Service Medal(1974)
*American Astronautical Society
Victor A. PratherAward (1975,1985)
NASA Space Flight Medal(1984)
NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal(1985)
National Aeronautic Association Collier Trophy(1985)
Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum Trophy(1985).
*U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association (Class of 1958)
*U.S. Naval Institute
*Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers
*American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics
Association for Computing Machinery
National Audubon Society
He is a fellow of the
American Astronautical Societyand former president of the Houston Audubon Society.
McCandless married Bernice Doyle, and the couple have two grown children. His recreational interests include
electronics, photography, scuba diving, and flying. He also enjoys cross country skiing.
* [http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/mccandless-b.html NASA biography] (from which this article is derived)
* [http://www.spacefacts.de/bios/astronauts/english/mccandless_bruce.htm Spacefacts biography of Bruce McCandless]
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