Bruce McCandlessBruce McCandless was born on June 8, 1937, in Boston, Massachusetts.
McCandless graduated from Woodrow Wilson Senior High School in Long Beach, California. He received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1958.
McCandless graduated second in his class from Annapolis then received flight training from the Naval Aviation Training Command at bases in Pensacola, Florida, and Kingsville, Texas.
He was designated a naval aviator in March of 1960 and proceeded to Key West, Florida, for weapons system and carrier landing training in the F-6A Skyray. He was assigned to Fighter Squadron 102 (VF-102) from December 1960 to February 1964. He flew the Skyray and the F-4B Phantom II, and saw duty aboard the USS Forrestal and the USS Enterprise. Aboard the Enterprise, he participated in the Cuban blockade.
In 1964, McCandless reported to the Naval Reserve Officer's Training Corps Unit at Stanford University for graduate studies in electrical engineering. He received his master of science degree in Electrical Engineering in 1965.
McCandless has flown the T-33B Shootingstar, T-38A Talon, F-4B Phantom II, F-6A Skyray, F-11 Tiger, TF-9J Cougar, T-1 Seastar, T-34B Mentor, and the Bell 47G helicopter. He has logged more than 5,200 hours flying time -- 5,000 hours in jet aircraft.
McCandless was one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He was a member of the astronaut support crew for the Apollo 14 mission and was backup pilot for the first manned Skylab mission (SL-1/SL-2).
McCandless flew aboard Challenger during the STS-41B mission. 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 MMU's carried on board and alternated with his crewmate, Robert L. Stewart, in two spectacular extravehicular activities (EVAS).