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Sunday, 24 December 2017 - 10:10
Astronaut who first flew alone dies aged 80
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Bruce McCandless, who was captured in a stunning photograph in 1984 as he made the first untethered flight in space, has died aged 80, Nasa said.

With a jetpack, McCandless travelled 100m from the Space Shuttle.

"That may have been one small step for Neil, but it's a heck of a big leap for me," he joked, adapting astronaut Neil Armstrong's famous moon-landing line.

Armstrong's words were in fact relayed to McCandless, who was in mission control for the moon landing in 1969.

His voice was recorded in those era-defining moments, communicating with Armstrong and his fellow astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins as they planted the US flag on the moon.

"Oh, it's beautiful, Mike. It really is," he said over the radio.

He died at home in California on Thursday(21), Nasa said. No cause of death was given.



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