- On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to fly in a space capsule. He named it "Freedom 7," the number signifying the seven Mercury astronauts. NASA called the mission Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3). Lofted by a Redstone rocket, Shepard and his capsule attained a maximum speed of 5180 mph and rose to an altitude of 116 miles. The sub-orbital flight lasted 15 minutes and 28 seconds. Freedom 7 parachuted into the sea 302 miles from the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and was retrieved by helicopter, along with Shepard.
- NASA gave "Freedom 7" to the Smithsonian in October 1961, the first manned spacecraft accessioned into the National Collection. These two pieces are part of the parachute attachment system.
- Data Source
- National Air and Space Museum
- Alan B. Shepard Jr.
- McDonnell Aircraft Corp.
- Credit Line
- Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Ferrous Alloy
- Unknown Coating
- 3-D: 2.5 × 1.9cm (1 × 3/4 in.)
- 3-D: 5.1 × 4.4cm (2 × 1 3/4 in.)
- SPACECRAFT-Crewed-Parts & Structural Components
International media Interoperability Framework
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