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05/05/1961 Alan Shepard pilots first U.S. spaceflight

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Freedom 7 - Full Mission

9:43

Alan Shepard " Launch ", LIVE on TV at NBC, (Mercury / Redstone rocket), May 5, 1961

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Mercury-Redstone 3

1:28:01

Alan Shepard - Last interview (1998)

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50 Years Ago: Alan Shepard, First American in Space

The first United States human spaceflight was piloted by Alan Shepherd, Jr., America's first astronaut. The objective was to put a man in orbit around the Earth and return him safely. Shepard's mission was a 15-minute suborbital flight with the primary objective of demonstrating his ability to withstand the high g-forces of launch and atmospheric re-entry. Shepard was not the first human in space, however, as Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, had launched into orbit less than one month earlier.
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