Information Research Publications Presentations
on the Human Exploration of Space
Astro Info Service Limited
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Group 1 (1959)
On 5 May 1961 Alan Shepard became the first American to enter space as pilot of the Mercury 3 capsule Freedom 7. The short 15 minute ballistic sub orbital mission came 23 days after the historic first manned spaceflight by Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. Though not the first American to orbit the Earth, that title went to his colleague john Glenn, Shepard became an instant celebrity. Though intending to return to space in both Mercury and Gemini Shepard was medically grounded for ten years but never gave up in his desire to return to space. Ten years after his Mercury mission he made his long awaited second spaceflight as Commander of Apollo 14 the third manned lunar landing mission and became the fifth man and the only Mercury astronaut to walk on the Moon.
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