One of the most powerful images in the history of space exploration is of an astronaut in a spacesuit, untethered, and seemingly floating alone in an expanse of blue. Bruce McCandless II was the man in that spacesuit, and Wonders All Around is the thoroughly engrossing, extensively researched story of his inspiring life and groundbreaking accomplishments, told by his son, Bruce McCandless III, a gifted writer and storyteller.
McCandless II became a Navy pilot and joined NASA in 1966. He was the capsule communicator in Houston-the person talking to the astronauts-as Armstrong made his leap for mankind. McCandless worked on and invented major systems and tools that would equip later astronauts, until he himself went memorably into space on the tenth shuttle mission. But the road to that incredible feat was not the sure bet it should have been for such a gifted man.
Wonders All Around goes beyond a catalog of achievements, of which McCandless had many. It is also the story of science, perseverance, and devotion. Bruce McCandless II was with NASA 24 years, and this story encompasses the development of the space agency itself-the changes in focus, in personnel, in approach, and in the city of Houston that grew up with it.
Recounted with thought and insight, this book is also about the relationship between father and son, men of two very different generations. Finally, it is an exploration of the mind-set of one unique man-and the determination, courage, and imagination-that took him and his country into their place in space history.