On May 5, 1961, Alan B. Shepard became the first American in space during a suborbital flight aboard his Mercury capsule named Freedom 7. Three weeks later, based on the success of Shepard’s brief flight, President John F. Kennedy committed the United States to achieving a lunar landing before the end of the decade, according to History
Many attempts have been made by scientists to travel into space. These were those that took it upon themselves to determine what the moon was all about, which were some selected men saddled with the task of working on the existence of the moon. They include: Alan Bertlet Shepard, who served as the first American astronaut, aviator, naval aviator, and businessman, made his trip to the moon in 1961.
Alan Bertlet Shepard’s Early Life
He was born on November 8, 1923 in Derry, New Hampshire to the family of Alan Bertlett Bert Senior and Pauline Renza Shepard. Alan Bertlett took his name from his father, as Junior Berttlet was the same as his younger sister, Pauline, who was the same as her mother. He also came from a well-known family, with his father working in the Derry National Bank, which was owned by Shepard’s grandfather.
Shepard, in terms of his studies, attended Adams School in Derry, where he had a marvelous performance that got him to skip some of the classes and move to middle school at Oak Street in Derry. In addition to skipping grade eight, he earned the rank of first class scout in America.
Though Shepard’s dream of flying was realized when he formed an airplane club with his classmates at Pinkerton Academy in Derry in 1936, and to top it all off, flying to the Douglas DC-3 was his Christmas present from his parents, Shepard grew up in a plane environment and worked within to prepare for what he aspired to be.
At Pinkerton Academy, Shepard studied and chose to study the Navy rather than the Army, as chosen by his parents.
Before Shepard was successfully admitted into the United State Naval Academy, age stood as a hindrance to him in 1940, which meant that he was below the selected age and needed to wait a bit, but he would have to attend prep school where he could learn more about the Navy.
Shepard’s Interest In Swimming
While at Annapolis school, the school had long had a swimming competition, which Shepard was recorded to have had an interest in. He did various aspects of aquatic gaming. And with an interest in swimming, he was taught how to use various boats in the academy.
He often enjoyed swimming. Shepherd had a successful graduation from the school in 1945, among the best students of the year, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree as well as being commissioned as an ensign.
Shepard In His Naval Service
Based on these standards, for the sake of qualifications, the U.S. placed a rule for every aviator student to be tested before a proper approved study, to which Shepard was assigned to a destroyer in Cogswell in August 1944. His assignment to the Cogswell was to save some of the sailors that had been attacked by the Japanese and lead the boat back to Ullithi, the land where it was previously kept before the attack.
Meanwhile, the destroyers were groups of Navy personnel who were saddled with the responsibility of rescuing captured sailors. Thoug escorts the ship back to Ullithi, where it was previously kept before the attack.
His other Navy service included his appointment as gunnery officer during his second cruise with Cogswell against the Japanese attack, which included Kamikaze participation in the battle.
Fulfilling this requirement required the use of a dangerous weapon through the use of a dangerous radar picket. The Japanese were defeated on this attack while Shepard returned to the United States for leave.
Shepard Resigned From The Navy Service
After the victory gained in 1965, Shepard returned to the United States and decided to make a change of career by attending Naval Air Station Corpus Christi in Texas. Though he had little knowledge of the flying line through his past experience, to succeed in this as a growing pilot, he needed to work along with a private lesson teacher at a local civilian navy school with little earning income as a pilot.
He was then sent to Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida by his master. Within some years, he graduated and was given the pilot wing, which was highly appreciated by his father.
Shepard Naval Career
Before Shepard could be among the naval recruits, the Soviet Union launched an artificial satellite known as Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957, sparking fears of the US losing power.
However, the project was fully established and accepted in 1958 with the goal of transporting a man around orbit and returning him to Earth in a safe and secure manner.
The period of recruitment also came up with the condition of recruiting those with the following qualifications, such as not being more than 40 years old and having experience as military test pilots or equivalent to being astronauts.
Shepard and other men were selected, after which they were welcomed by the Chief of Naval Operations and advised by the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, General Thomas D. White.
Many instructions were given to them, and the danger of the assignment they were given was clear to them. Thomas assured them of victory on every side of the assignment given to them. It is a project about traveling to the mercury.
Shepard Gets Ready For The Mission
Following the selection of astronauts, Shepard was scheduled to take off for space on May 5, 1961, after encountering several shifting dates due to a lack of proper preparation.
He was the second person, and the first American, to travel to the location where cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin first successfully landed.He had most of his training, together with impressing himself and his family, to be the first American who would go into space.
Shepard Piloted The Project
On May 5, 1961, Shepard, with a strong preparation, piloted the Mercury-Redstone 3. While on the air, his mission was viewed on Earth through television. He tried to have a successful journey with the aircraft as well. Though he had a little challenge on account of crossing the Atlantic Ocean, that landed him an intelligent pilot when he completed his recovery. His difficulties were clear through the help of a recovery helicopter when he and the remaining spacecraft men were put into the helicopter, which drove them down to the USS Lake Champlain within eleven minutes of touring the space.
Following the success of the project, he was honorably lifted above his equal with the higher rank of being the Chief of the Astronaut Office in 1963.
Prior to that, he received the NASA distinguished service medal from President John F. Kennedy, as well as an award for being the distinguished flying cross. He later took part in other Atlas Mercury John missions, but his first trip into space was dubbed Mercury Spacecraft 7 by Shepard.