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Alan Shepard in Freedom 7 Space Capsule

Alan Shepard in Freedom 7 Space Capsule

The challenge was to be able to fly an unusual craft and provide good, positive, thinking control of that vehicle.

--Alan B. Shepard, Jr.

 

On May 5, 1961 Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. (November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998) pilioted Freedom 7, the  Mercury-Redstone 3 flight designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit.  He was the second person and the first American to travel into space.  Ten years later, Shepard commanded the Apollo 14 mission. He became the 5th person to walk on the moon and the only astronaut of the Mercury Seven to walk on the Moon.