AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch Luch-5V on a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan scheduled for 28 Apr 14 4:25:00 GMT

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Retro Space Images: John Glenn Aboard Freedom 7

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Back-Up Pilot: Project Mercury astronaut John Glenn is shown in the cockpit of the MR-3 (Freedom 7) spacecraft at Launch Complex 5 in April 1961. Glenn was serving as back-up pilot to fellow astronaut Alan Shepard. The following month, on May 5, 1961, Shepard would become the [...]

'Eight Days in a Garbage Can': The Mission of Gemini V (Part 1)

Illustrating the cramped nature of their eight-day home, astronauts Pete Conrad (background) and Gordo Cooper are in jubilant spirits ahead of their 21 August 1965 launch. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost five decades have passed since a mission which Pete Conrad once described as “the longest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life.” [...]

Retro Space Images: Hoping for a Launch

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Zooming In: Photographers perched near Complex 17 have Alan Shepard’s Redstone rocket at Complex 5 in their viewfinders. A classic Chevrolet station wagon sits in the foreground. The attempted launch of the first American in space was scrubbed on this morning of May 2, 1961. The nation [...]

From ‘Greasy Grissom’ to ‘Gruff Gus’: The Story of America’s Second Man in Space (Part 2)

The attempted rescue of the Liberty Bell 7 capsule from the waters of the Atlantic on 21 July 1961. After this image was taken, it would be 38 years—long after Gus Grissom’s death—before the spacecraft was recovered and again saw the light of day. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty-two years ago this very day, a [...]

From ‘Greasy Grissom’ to ‘Gruff Gus’: The Story of America’s Second Man in Space (Part 1)

Gus Grissom (in suit, right) accompanies Al Shepard to his Freedom 7 capsule in May 1961. Two months later, Grissom would fly his own suborbital Mercury mission aboard Liberty Bell 7. Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Had Gus Grissom lived longer, wrote Deke Slayton in his autobiography, Deke, he would have been [...]

Retro Space Images: Footsteps Into History

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

First Steps — Astronaut Alan Shepard is accompanied by fellow astronaut Gus Grissom at Pad 5 as he moves toward the Freedom 7  spacecraft on May 5, 1961.

Like what you see? Then check out: Retro Space Images

Want to keep up-to-date with all things space? Be sure to “Like” AmericaSpace [...]

'The Right Man': A Restoration of Faith (Part 2)

Atop a converted Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile, America launches its fourth man into orbit on 15 May 1963. Gordon Cooper’s 34-hour, 22-orbit voyage aboard Faith 7 would be NASA’s most challenging space mission to date. Photo Credit: NASA

Early on 14 May 1963, a hotshot pilot lay on his back in a tiny capsule, [...]

'How About Now?' The Faith in Gordon Cooper (Part 1)

Fifty years ago, on 15 May 1963, America launched astronaut Gordon Cooper on its longest manned space mission to date. In doing so, NASA began to take strides toward meeting President John Kennedy’s goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the decade. The humiliation of Yuri Gagarin’s orbital flight had been [...]

'What a Beautiful View': Freedom 7's 15 Minutes

Alan Shepard is hoisted aboard the helicopter, deftly piloted by Wayne Koons, after completing his 15-minute suborbital flight. The patch of fluorescent green marker dye in the water around Freedom 7 is particularly obvious. Photo Credit: NASA

In the half-hour between 9:30 and 10 a.m. Eastern time on 5 May 1961, the United States [...]

Americans in Orbit: The Flight of John Glenn (Part 2)

On 20 February 1962, John Glenn became the first of four Americans to ride a Mercury capsule atop the Atlas booster. Photo Credit: NASA

More than half a century ago, on 20 February 1962, America’s first citizen to orbit the Earth thundered into space atop an Atlas rocket. Inside a cone-shaped Mercury capsule—which his [...]