Alan Shepard, the first American in space, just before liftoff, Mercury-Redstone 3, May 5, 1961. NASA HQ caption on the verso. Vintage gelatin silver print, image size 9 1/8 x 7 1/8 in. (23.0 x 18.0 cm), unmatted.
N.B. Alan Shepard lies in the tiny cabin of his Mercury spacecraft Freedom 7 on the morning of May 5, 1961, as technicians prepare to install the craft's side hatch. After hours of delay, Shepard lifted off on top of a Redstone booster to become the first American in space (Chaikin, Space, p. 40). His 15-minute suborbital hop took him to a height of 116 miles before splashdown near Bermuda.
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