November 18, 1923 – U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard is born

Alan ShepardAlan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. was born November 18, 1923. He was the second person and the first American in space. He later commanded the Apollo 14 mission, and was the fifth person to walk on the moon.

Wikipedia says:

“On May 5, 1961, Shepard piloted the Freedom 7 mission and became the second person, and the first American, to travel into space. He was launched by a Redstone rocket on a ballistic trajectory suborbital flight—a flight which carried him to an altitude of 116 statute miles and to a landing point 302 statute miles down the Atlantic Missile Range. Unlike Gagarin’s flight, Shepard remained in control of his craft at all times. The flight, return from space and subsequent collection by helicopter were seen live on television by millions.

On his successful return to Earth, Shepard was celebrated as a national hero, honored with parades in Washington, New York and Los Angeles and meeting President John F. Kennedy.”

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~ by tellinghistory on November 18, 2007.

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