Freedom 7 celebrates 62-12 months Anniversary
ABOVE VIDEO: Tom Jennings talks with Steve Wilson within the newest version of “Sit Down with Steve.” Jennings is the filmmaker for the documentary The Actual Proper Stuff. The documentary chronicles Challenge Mercury, the Mercury 7 astronauts, and all issues space-related that came about throughout that point. On Could 5, 1961, Alan Shepherd turned the primary American to be launched into house. Jennings talks about this milestone accomplishment, the superb behind the scenes footage within the documentary, and way more on this unique interview.
ABOVE VIDEO: The flight of “Freedom 7” boosted spirits all through the nation at a time when the U.S. gave the impression to be faltering within the quest for a viable house program.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – On the morning of Could 5, 1961, astronaut Alan Shepard crawled into the cramped Mercury capsule, “Freedom 7,” at Launch Advanced 5 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Power Station.
The slender, 82-foot-tall Mercury-Redstone rocket rose from the launch pad at 9:34 a.m. EST, sending Shepard on a remarkably profitable, 15-minute suborbital flight.
However greater than that, it kick-started America’s future as a spacefaring nation.
The flight of “Freedom 7” boosted spirits all through the nation at a time when the U.S. gave the impression to be faltering within the quest for a viable house program. Simply weeks earlier than, on April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had change into the primary human in house, orbiting the Earth for 108 minutes within the Vostok 1 spacecraft.
A U.S. Navy take a look at pilot, Shepard was one of many first astronauts chosen by NASA. The “Mercury Seven” astronauts — M. Scott Carpenter, Leroy Gordon Cooper, Shepard, John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom Jr., Walter M. “Wally” Schirra Jr., and Donald Okay. “Deke” Slayton — had been launched to the nation in April 1959. NASA stored the identification of the primary astronaut to fly a secret till phrase of Shepard’s command acquired out simply days earlier than the launch.
After ignition, Shepard reached as much as begin the mission clock. The car skilled some vibration a couple of minute and a half into flight when it pierced the world of peak aerodynamic strain, however Shepard loved a smoother experience because the Redstone pushed skyward.
As soon as the Mercury spacecraft separated from the rocket, the capsule turned, with its warmth defend dealing with ahead. Throughout the quick flight, Shepard took within the superb view and experimented with the spacecraft’s controls.
“It was an intense countdown. Everyone had their job. There was no joking round,” mentioned former Chief Take a look at Conductor Bob Moser. “However we loved it, and it labored. Congratulations to all of us. We had been an awesome workforce.”
The flight was vital not solely as a result of it displayed bravery and technological progress, but additionally as a result of it performed out earlier than journalists and the general public. For the primary time, the world was capable of share within the stress and pleasure because the historic occasion unfolded on tv in actual time.
“Freedom 7” was solely the start of Shepard’s spaceflight profession. He went on to function chief of the Astronaut Workplace after his first flight.
In 1971, he commanded the Apollo 14 mission, touchdown together with Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell within the Fra Mauro area initially supposed as Apollo 13’s goal whereas Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa orbited overhead.