NASA celebrates astronaut Shepard's historic first flight





WASHINGTON β€” Alan Shepard never became a household name like fellow astronauts John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, and Neil Armstrong, the first to walk on the moon.

But 50 years ago β€” on May 5, 1961 β€” Shepard became the first American to reach space at a time of heightened Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union.

He later became one of only a dozen men to walk on the moon, where he hit a golf shot that became perhaps the most memorable moment of the Apollo 14 mission he commanded.

Kennedy Space Center, where both those missions were launched, will celebrate the anniversary of Shepard's first flight as one of the key moments in human spaceflight, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said....



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