Space Suit of the Week

Astronaut Alan Shepard. First American in Space

Alan Shepard. The first American in Space

Aside from being Cinco de Mayo, yesterday was also the 50th anniversary of Alan Shepard’s inaugural orbit in space. Shepard was the first American and the second human to orbit in space, beat only by Yuri Gagarin a few weeks prior.

Shepard safely completed his 15½ minute flight and became an instant hero. He had sat in a nose cone on top of a Redstone rocket and been exploded into the atmosphere. He received accolades, parades, and met President Kennedy. His successful mission motivated the President to appear before a joint session of Congress just a few weeks later and challenge the country to send a man to the moon.

Here is a letter Shepard sent to his parents two years before his flight. He repeatedly uses the word “daddy” while telling about his upcoming trip to Washington for consideration in the Man in Space program. He, of course, would go on to become the first American in space and the fifth man on the moon. When asked what he was thinking about before his first launch into space, he replied “every part of this ship was built by the low bidder.”


2 Comments Space Suit of the Week

  1. Héctor Muñoz May 9, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Hey, thanks for the Cinco de Mayo mention, but really it is more important in the US than in México. It’s notoriety in the US started as a Bush – Monroe Doctrine propaganda strategy.

    We will be very glad to also see mentions on September 16th!

    A great pride for Alan Shepard and a pretty hansome space suit!

  2. chicher May 21, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    Great shots of Smilin Al. His trip was sub-orbital, by the way.

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