First American to travel in space!

By: Amber Deluca


Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. was born November 18 1923 in East Derry, New Hampshire. Shepard began his career after graduation. In 1950, he attended the United States Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland.

Shepard was chosen as one of the first U.S astronauts. He also had a job in the navy and was the navys test pilot. Shepard was one of the  Mercury astronauts. On May 5, 1961, in the freedom 7 spacecraft, Shepard rocketed 117 miles into space. He was the  first American to travel in space. He was the third person in space.    

In 1963 he became head of the Astronaut Office (NASA) and was responsible for the trianing of all pilot and non-pilot personnel over the next 7 years.

Shepard made his second space flight as spacecraft commander on Apollo 14, January - 31 - Febuary - 9, 1971. He successfully landed on the moon and with his fellow astronauts deployed and activated various scientific equipment and experiments and collected almost 45kg of lunar samples for return to earth which provided a better understanding of our Solar System.

Alan Shepard had a wife named Louise Brewer and he had three children Alice, Julie and Laura. In 1974 Shepard resigned from the astronaut program and the navy.    

He died on July 21 1998 at the age of 74.