Launch of Freedom 7, the first spacecraft carrying an American in space, Mercury-Redstone 3, May 5, 1961. Stamped "D4C 13620" on the verso u.r., McDonnell stamp on the verso u.l. Vintage chromogenic print on fiber-based Kodak paper with "A Kodak Paper" watermark on the verso, image size 10 1/2 x 8 in. (26.5 x 20.3 cm), unmatted.
Condition: Minor crease to l.r. corner of sheet.
N.B. 500,000 people gathered in 1961 to watch a Redstone rocket lift astronaut Alan Shepard in his Mercury capsule, Freedom 7, into space. They had a long wait. Technical problems delayed the launch for four hours. Shepard's patience eventually wore out and he famously snapped, "Why don't you fix your little problem and light this candle?" The launch was a success, and Shepard soared into space at more than 2km (1.5 miles) a second.
Literature: Chaikin, Space, p. 40; National Geographic, September 1961, p. 425.
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