Saturday, May 06, 2006

The First American In Space.

On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to fly in space. He flew in the Freedom 7 spacecraft, "launched by a Redstone vehicle on a ballistic trajectory suborbital flight--a flight which carried him to an altitude of 116 statute miles and to a landing point 302 statute miles down the Atlantic Missile Range." (Here.) Shepard's flight took place about three weeks after the Soviet flight of Yuri Gagarin. Three weeks after Shepard's flight on May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that America would fly to the moon within 10 years. (Here.)

Thus was born the human space age.

-tdr

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