# What is the farthest that a "human satellite" has been from their spacecraft?

There are several news items about the recent passing of astronaut Bruce McCandless II, and they generally refer to his work developing, and then using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).

Access to the original New York Times article describing McCandless' first use of the MMU is provided in a free sample from their archive TimesMachine.

Question: What is the farthest distance that an astronaut has been free-floating in space from any spacecraft other than a space suit, presumably with an attached propulsion unit?

I'm not sure if a "how many times" question should be asked separately, or if it's better to include here. I'm guessing this hasn't happened very many times.

NASA video of McCandless: Astronaut Bruce McCandless II Floats Free in Space, video and much more: NASA Remembers Astronaut Bruce McCandless II.

below: "This Feb. 7, 1984 photo made available by NASA shows astronaut Bruce McCandless II participating in a spacewalk a few meters away from the cabin of the Earth-orbiting space shuttle Challenger, using a nitrogen-propelled Manned Maneuvering Unit." Photo: AP. From here

below: "On Feb. 12, 1984, Bruce McCandless ventured away unrestrained from the safety of his spaceship, which no previous astronaut had done. He could do it because of a brand-new, jet-powered backpack." Photo: NASA. Cropped from here.

• I assume the moon walks aren't eligible, despite probably having the distance record? Dec 23 '17 at 15:34
• @PearsonArtPhoto that's a good point! The "human satellite" term isn't clear enough. I'll edit the question.
– uhoh
Dec 23 '17 at 15:41
• This first MMU mission is probably it. Not sure how to confirm though. They were only used on three missions in 1984 and never again :( Dec 23 '17 at 15:49
• Yeah, I meant MMU. SAFERs were worn on many, many missions, and were far less capable. Dec 23 '17 at 16:02
• Comment collapse blinds me yet again hah. Jul 11 '19 at 3:50

• Confirmation; astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria (current president of the Association of Space Explorers) can be heard to round it to 100 meters in a BBC interview here between 14:00 and 19:47, along with some recordings of astronaut Bruce McCandless himself.