“Tired of Apologising”: The Flight of Aurora 7

Five weeks before launch, Scott Carpenter and his backup, Wally Schirra (back to camera), undertake emergency water egress training for the mission. By his own admission, Schirra was furious to have been skipped for Carpenter, having trained for several months as Deke Slayton's backup. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this week, America […]

“What a Beautiful View”: The Minutes of Freedom 7

Wearing the ‘horse’s collar’, Alan Shepard is winched to the recovery helicopter, minutes after splashdown. Freedom 7 can be clearly seen in the ocean beneath him. Photo Credit: NASA

In the half-hour between 9:30 and 10:00 am Eastern Standard Time on 5 May 1961, the United States came, quite literally, to a standstill. […]

“Light This Candle”: The Hours Before Freedom 7

Carrying the hopes and dreams of a nation, Freedom 7 thunders into space. Less than a decade later, the career of the man inside – astronaut Alan Shepard – would culminate with a flight aboard a far more powerful rocket, the Saturn V, and include a landing on the Moon. Photo Credit: NASA


“Why Postpone a Success?” The Days Before Freedom 7

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

More than five decades have passed since the United States launched its first astronaut, Alan Shepard, […]

Three Shuttle Veterans Set to Be Inducted Into Astronaut Hall of Fame

Photo Credit: U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame

Three space shuttle veterans are being inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Saturday, May 5 at 3 p.m. The ceremony will be carried like on NASA Television. The three astronauts that will be included into the hall […]

“In Silent Awe”: America’s Day-Long Record-Holders

Clad in the Navy's Mark IV pressure suits, to be used by Mercury astronauts, Vic Prather and Malcolm Ross prepare for their record-setting flight aboard Stratolab V. Photo Credit: US Navy

Fifty-one years ago, this week, Alan Shepard made history as America’s first man in space. Atop a modified Redstone missile, he was […]

John Glenn Named One Of Thirteen Presidential Medal Of Freedom Recipients

John Glenn has been named as one of thirteen Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. Photo Credit: Jason Rhian

Mercury and Shuttle astronaut John Glenn has been named as one of President Barack Obama’s recipients for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Glenn was the first U.S. astronaut to reach orbit in 1961 atop and […]

ULA Developing Human Space Flight Organization

Image Credit: United Launch Alliance

United Launch Alliance (ULA) has announced that it will form a new organization within the company dedicated solely to NASA’s human space flight programs. This new group will serve to support not just NASA – but the space agency’s partners as they work to regain the ability to […]

“Fifty-Year-Old Rookie”: The Fortune of Deke Slayton – Part 2

Deke Slayton might have hoped that the first human steps on the Moon might have been taken by himself. Instead, he would play a crucial role in selecting Neil Armstrong – here shown in the shadow of the lunar module, Eagle – to take those historic steps. Photo Credit: NASA

The year 1969 […]

NASA Celebrates 50 Years of Americans in Orbit

NASA held a celebration at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex marking 50 years of Americans in orbit. Photo Credit: Julian Leek/Blue Sawtooth Studios

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – A half century ago a Marine Corps test pilot climbed into his tiny Mercury capsule and thundered to orbit, where he spent just under five […]