Alan Shepard - First American in Space
On May 5, 1961, NASA launched the first American into space. Alan Shepard took his historic ride in a Freedom 7 capsule, powered by a Redstone missile rocket. Shepard traveled to an altitude of 116 miles and returned to Earth in 15 minutes. From his capsule, Shepard saw the curvature of the Earth, and described a view never seen by any American before.
On May 8, Shepard traveled to the White House to receive a NASA Distinguished Service Medal from President John F. Kennedy. Three weeks later, JFK would announce to a joint session of Congress the goal of sending an American safely to the Moon by the end of the decade.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Mercury-Redstone 3 flight, so as you enjoy your first Saturday in May, look up to the skies and raise your glass to Alan Shepard - first American in space. Happy weekend!