Naval Aviation Museum Site Index
Mercury Mockup Gallery


The sign accompanying the Alan Shepard bust displayed with the spacecraft. It reads

RADM Alan B. Shepard, Jr., 1923-1998

1st American in Space

NASA astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. rocketed into history on May 5, 1961, when he became the first American to fly in space. A 1944 graduate of the Naval Academy, Shepard served on the destroyer Cogswell in World War II. Afterward, he entered flight training and became a Navy test pilot.

One of the seven original Mercury astronauts selected by NASA in 1959, Shepard made history in 1961 by flying in the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule on a 15-minute suborbital flight at an altitude of 116 miles. Later designated Chief of the Astronaut Office in 1963, Shepard flew to the moon as spacecraft commander of Apollo 14 on January 31, 1971. One only 12 Americans ever to walk on the moon, Shepard was best remembered for hitting golf balls across the lunar surface with a makeshift golf club.

Alan Shepard retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral and from NASA in 1974.

He received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor along with a number of other decorations, and was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center on May 11, 1990.

Alan Shepard died, at age 74, in July 1998.

Sign accompanying Alan Shepard bust by the Mercury Mockup at Naval Aviation Museum
Time picture taken Thu Jun 17 10:28:46 2004
Location picture taken Space Gallery
Naval Aviation Museum
Pensacola, FL
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