50 Years Ago: Freedom 7 Flies Credit: NASA Fifty years ago, near the dawn of the space age, NASA controllers "lit the candle" and sent Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard arcing into space atop a Redstone rocket. His cramped space capsule was dubbed Freedom 7. Broadcast live to a global television audience, the historic Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral Florida at 9:34 a.m. Eastern Time on May 5, 1961...
Sally Ride - American physicist and former NASA astronaut. On June 18, 1983 Sally Ride became the first American woman in space when she blasted off from Cape Canaveral on board the Space Shuttle Challenger. She was 32 at the time, which also made her the youngest American ever to go into space.
April 9, 1959: NASA Introduces the First Astronauts On this day in 1959, NASA announced to the public the seven astronauts, also known as the Mercury 7, that would partake in Project Mercury, the first manned space program. The astronauts included: Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Alan Shepard Jr., and Donald Slayton.
NASA introduced the Project Mercury astronauts to the world on April 9, 1959. Known as the Mercury Seven or Original Seven, they are (front row, left to right) Walter M. "Wally" Schirra Jr., Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, John H. Glenn Jr., M. Scott Carpenter, (back row) Alan B. Shepard Jr., Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom and L. Gordon Cooper, Jr. | Photo credit: NASA