Spacewalking was nothing new by the time space shuttles began to soar. In March 1965, the Russian Alexei Leonov became the first person to take a “walk” in space in an exercise that nearly went wrong. Three months later, American Ed White followed his lead, but both were tied to their spacecraft.
It was left for two astronauts on the shuttle Challenger, Bruce McCandless and Robert Stewart, to try an untied version. With Robert Gibson taking photos from inside the shuttle with a Hasselblad, McCandless achieved this on February 7th 1984, becoming the first “human satellite” traveling at some 17,500 miles per hour.
He reached a distance of 320 feet, with the azure Earth 150 nautical miles below, but McCandless spent just a little more than an hour free-flying. Even today, spacesuits are awkward, unwieldy and uncomfortable; while spacewalks typically lasted no longer than three hours, the astronauts are often trapped in their suits for as long as 10 hours, and had to drink through straws.
Although McCandless’ photo inspired many sci-fi fantasies, his spacewalk would amount to nothing more than a stunt. After McCandless and Stewart, four other astronauts on later shuttles flew untethered, but after 1984, NASA stopped producing the nitrogen-powered jet pack (in that inelegant space jargon, known as Manned Maneuvering Unit). The shuttle’s robotic arm precluded the need for such daring spacewalks.
Today, a modified version of the jetpack is worn only as a emergency backup during spacewalks. It was smaller but by no ways capable of reaching the distances previously travelled.
And there in a way is a metaphor for the American space programme.
Retiree Giorgos Chatzifotiadis had queued up at three banks in Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki on Friday in the hope of withdrawing a pension on behalf of his wife, but all in vain.
When he was told at the fourth that he could not withdraw his 120 euros ($133), it was all too much and he collapsed in tears.
The 77-year-old told AFP that he had broken down because he “cannot stand to see my country in this distress”.
“That’s why I feel so beaten, more than for my own personal problems,” Chatzifotiadis said.
The image of him sitting outside the bank, openly crying in despair with his savings book and identity card on the floor, was captured by an AFP photographer illustrating how ordinary Greeks are suffering during the country’s debt crisis.
Photographer Stephen Shames began his project shooting on East Tremont Ave in the Bronx while on assignment for Look Magazine in 1977. The magazine went under while Shames was on assignment, but he continued with the project for two decades, sometimes staying on the block for weeks, sometimes visiting only once or twice a year. Accompanying the photographs is the riveting story of Bronx born Martin Dones, who Shames follows from childhood to manhood. Dones is an exception, a young man who manages to escape a violent life to successfully raise his own family.
The electronic book Bronx Boys is available from FotoEvidence Press. The Ebook Bronx Boys has the look and feel of a physical book– the high-resolution images that can be viewed full screen, with a feature allows the viewer to zoom into details without loss of image quality. Most of the photographs in Bronx Boys are published by FotoEvidence Press for the first time.