Information Transient: Retired astronaut Bruce McCandless II, the first astronaut to fly untethered from his spacecraft, has died at the age of 80. NASA said McCandless passed away on Thursday in California, however gave no trigger of demise. The previous naval aviator flew in house twice. Throughout a spacewalk in 1984, McCandless tested a hand-controlled maneuvering unit that took him greater than 300 ft away from the shuttle Challenger. He jokingly referred to Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk: “That will have been one small step for Neil, nevertheless it’s a heck of an enormous leap for me.” In 1990, McCandless helped deploy the Hubble Space Telescope from the shuttle Discovery.