Friday, March 4, 2016

Freedom 7 - Alan Shephard, Jr. (Mercury Program)

Freedom 7

Alan Shephard, Jr., one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, was the first American in space in May of 1961, just three weeks after Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union although, unlike Gagarin, Shephard did not orbit the earth.

That honor, as an American, would go to John Glenn on February 20, 1962.

The original 7 included Shephard, Scott Carpenter, Gordo Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, and Deke Slayton.

Future historians will note this period as a turning point in human history.

Project Mercury had 3 primary objectives:
To orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth

To investigate man's ability to function in space

To recover both man and spacecraft safely

1 comment:

  1. May 1961. I was finishing the 1st Grade. I grew up with the space program. This was what we talked about as little kids. But it's Gordon Cooper, not Gordo (fat).
    It was a time of such great optimism and expectation of a wonderful future of limitless possibilities. It had us looking up at the heavens. We were proud of our country and what it stands for. Achievement was admired.