Smithsonian inspects first US astronaut’s space capsule, suit 60 years on

In the 60 years given that they made history, astronaut Alan Shepard’s spacesuit and Mercury capsule logged more miles than they did on the first U.S. human spaceflight. Now, 6 years after they flew, the Smithsonian is preparing both artifacts for their first long-lasting exhibit together.

Launched on May 5, 1961, Shepard’s Mercury-Redstone 3 suborbital objective reached simply 115 miles (185 kilometers) high, however the 15-minute flight marked a considerable action towards the U.S. overtaking the Soviet Union, which had actually sent out the first satellite and the first human into space. Sometimes ignored for the longer objectives that followed, Shepard’s accomplishment on “Freedom 7” — the name he provided his spacecraft — set the phase for the race to the moon.

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