Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr.

  • Served as a Navy fighter pilot and test pilot with over 8,000 flying hours.
  • Selected as one of seven astronauts to participate in Project Mercury, the United States’ first manned space program.
  • First American to make a suborbital flight in the Project Mercury program on Freedom 7, May 5th, 1961. As the spacecraft sped upward on its long arced flight and neared a maximum altitude of 116 miles, Shepard experienced  weightlessness for five minutes, performed 27 major tasks, and sent 70 communications back to Earth.
  • Presented with NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal by President Kennedy for his 1961 space flight.
  • Named Chief of the Astronaut Office of NASA where he was responsible for training astronauts for ten Gemini-Titan and three Apollo-Saturn missions in the next five years.
  • Spent more than 33 hours on the moon in 1971 as commander of Apollo 14. It was on this trip that Shepard attached a golf club head to his hand tool and whacked away at several balls. He reportedly made the first “crater-in-one.”
  • Received New York City’s Medal of Honor along with the crew of Apollo 14.

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