Pad 14: A Place of History and Destiny (Part 2)

Gordon Cooper arrives at the base of the Pad 14 gantry on the morning of 15 May 1963, to become the last man to be launched from this historic site. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, America launched its first man into orbit around the Earth. John Glenn spent five hours aloft, completed […]

Pad 14: A Place of History and Destiny

Fifty years ago, in 1962, Pad 14 provided the stage for America's first manned orbital mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifteen years ago, the 45th Space Wing, based at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, began the laborious process of restoring one of the most important landmarks in America’s early space programme. Led by […]

“Lucky to be Alive”: The Controversy of Aurora 7

John Glenn (right) congratulates Scott Carpenter after his five-hour, three-orbit voyage. In December 1960, each of the Mercury Seven was asked to 'peer-vote' which of their colleagues was the best candidate for America's first astronaut. Glenn placed Carpenter at the top of his list. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, this week, Scott […]

“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, […]

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 […]

“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 […]

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s ‘Then & Now’ Tour


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – Bill Blakeney knows a thing-or-two about the history of Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As a “communicator” with the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex – he has to. Blakeney is one of the tour guides that work to inform the 1.2 million guests that visit the […]