This day in history: The first American in space

'This Day in History': 05/05/1961 - The First American in Space
'This Day in History': 05/05/1961 - The First American in Space



On May 5, 1961, Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. became the first American in space. He took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule. His flight lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, which was a major win for NASA at the time.

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