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60th ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST AMERICAN IN SPACE, May 5, 2021

Update, May 3:  The NASA History Office will host a panel discussion as well as a Reddit AMA session.

Original Entry: Alan Shepherd became the first American in space on May 5, 1961, making a 15 minute suborbital flight on a Mercury-Redstone rocket.  His flight came three weeks after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space on April 12.  Gagarin orbited the Earth.  The first American to orbit the Earth was John Glenn on February 20, 1962.

Blue Origin is developing a suborbital rocket, New Shepard, to take tourists on trips to space somewhat similar to Shepard’s although he flew out over the Atlantic Ocean and landed in the water, while Blue Origin’s goes straight up and down and lands on the ground.  The company announced last week that on May 5 it will provide details on how people can sign up to take a ride and presumably how much it will cost.

Apart from that we are not aware of other events associated with the anniversary, but will add them here if we learn of any.

Details

Date:
May 5
Time:
8:00 am - 11:00 pm