America’s first space traveler

This day in history…

On May 5, 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute suborbital flight in a capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

On May 5, 1961, … Shepard was launched at 9:34am EST aboard the spacecraft he named Freedom 7 (MR-7) powered by a Redstone booster (MR-3).19 He was launched suborbitally to an altitude of over 116 miles, 303 statute miles down range from Cape Canaveral. His 15 minute 28 second flight achieved a velocity of 5,134 miles per hour and pulled a maximum of 11G’s.20 Freedom 7 splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean where the aircraft carrier Lake Champlain awaited his arrival. more…

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