Alan Shepard was one of the original seven Mercury program astronauts. He launched from Cape Canaveral on May 5th 1961 in the Freedom 7 spacecraft. He made a 15-minute suborbital flight that reached an altitude of 115 miles. He is the only person to play golf on the Moon. Alan also served as commander of Apollo 14.
He was born on November 18th 1923 in New Hampshire. In 1944 he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1958, Shepard was one of 110 test pilots chosen by NASA as prospective astronauts.
Fast Facts: –
- Alan Shepard also served on the destroyer Cogswell in the Pacific during the World War II.
- In 1961, Shepard was chosen over Glenn and Grissom to become the first American to travel into space.
- He travelled more than 300 miles in his 15-minute-long mission.
- His first space flight took place a month after the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space.
- After this he also received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal from President John F. Kennedy.
- He landed on moon on February 15th 1971 along with Edger Mitchell.
- In 1945, he married Louise Brewer and they had three daughters together, Laura, Alice and Juliana.
- After working as the head of the Astronaut Office for some time he retired from NASA in 1974.
- He lost the battle with leukemia and passed away on July 21st 1998, at the age of 74 years.