Alan Shepard

Submitted by on Sep 23, 2015

Alan Shepard.

Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. (Eng. Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. ; November 18, 1923, Derry, NY. New Hampshire, USA – July 21, 1998, Monterey County, Calif., USA) – American astronaut, Rear Admiral US Navy. The first American who made a suborbital space flight. Second spaceflight Shepard performed as commander of the spacecraft “Apollo-14”, a lander that landed on the moon.

  • Education
  • Career Navy test pilot
  • Career astronaut
  • The later years
  • Awards
  • See. and
  • Notes


  • 1941 – he graduated from the Maritime College Admiral Farragut Academy ( English. ).
  • 1944 – he received his Bachelor of Science at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, USA.
  • 1962 – awarded the title of Master of Arts degree from Dartmouth College.
  • 1971 – received the degree of Doctor of Natural Sciences at the University of Miami (Eng. Miami University ) (Oxford, Ohio).
  • 1972 – the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Franklin Pierce College (Eng. Franklin Pierce College ).

In addition, in 1951, Alan Shepard was trained at the School of Marine test pilots Patuxent, and in 1957 he graduated from the Naval College in Newport (Rhode Island).

Career Navy test pilot

In 1944, after the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis he became an officer in the Navy. His first assignment was the destroyer “Cogswell” (eng. Cogswell ) directed to the World War II in the Pacific. After the war, Shepard began preparing a naval pilot, first in the town of Corpus Christi (Texas), and then in Pensacola (FL). The title of the pilot he was awarded in 1947. In this capacity, Shepard served as part of the 42nd Fighter Squadron in Norfolk (Virginia) and Jacksonville (Florida). Several times on board the aircraft carrier he was nominated in the Mediterranean area.

In 1950, Shepard entered the School of Marine test pilots Patuxent (Maryland). After its completion took part in flight tests and work on obtaining data on the lighting and composition of air masses over the territory of North America, as well as experiments on the development of refueling in the air for the US Navy. Shepard took part in the tests based fighter F2H-3 “Benshi” and the first American to ski to the corner of the deck to the aircraft carrier. After his appointment, operations officer in the division of night fighters 193rd Fighter Squadron at Moffett Field (Eng. Moffett Field ; California), Alan Shepard made two outs in the western Pacific aboard the USS Oriskany.

again returning to Petaksent, Shepard was actively involved in the flight test deck fighters F3H «demon», F8U «Crusader», F4D «Skayrey», F11F «Tiger”, was appointed test pilot created by all-weather carrier-based fighter F5D «Skylancer» ( “Heavenly lancers”). Five months Shepard served as an instructor of the school of test pilots. Later, – he entered the Naval College in Newport (Rhode Island), after which in 1957 he was appointed to the staff of the commander of the Atlantic Fleet as an officer training aircraft.

Had the raid more than 8,000 hours, 3,700 of them – on a jet aircraft.

Shepard aboard the “Mercury-Redstone 3»

Career astronaut

Shepard was one of seven astronauts selected by NASA in April 1959 to fly on ships “Mercury”. The highest professionalism and other qualities not only allowed him to become the first American astronaut, but only one of the astronauts of the “Mercury” set foot on the moon.

May 5, 1961 Booster “Redstone 3″brought the spacecraft capsule”Mercury-Redstone 3″(“Freedom 7″) on a ballistic trajectory suborbital flight. The capsule reached a height of about 186.5 kilometers and landed in the Atlantic missile range US 486 kilometers from the starting point. Although the flight was suborbital, Shepard, unlike Gagarin (whose flight was fully automatic), was able to control the ship and made a successful maneuver in weightlessness. In the history of Shepard entered words spoken before the start,”Redstone”-“God, please do not let me screw up”(eng. Please, dear God, do not let me fuck up ); According to other sources (his own autobiography), he said to himself a «Do not fuck up, Shepard …» (do not screw it up, Shepard), and”prayer Shepard” then came up with the media, but nevertheless it has become popular among pilots.

After the flight Shepard prepared as understudy Gordon Cooper for flight “Mercury-Atlas 9”. The next flight was to be the Shepard flight trёhsutochny “Mercury-Atlas-10” (“Freedom 7-II»), scheduled for October 1963, but the 13 June 1963 it was canceled.

Once the cancellation of flight “Mercury-Atlas 10″Shepard was chosen commander and pilot of the first launch of a new spacecraft”Gemini”. The second pilot was to be Thomas Stafford. Alan started training, but in early 1964, doctors discovered he had Meniere’s disease (a disease of the ear, the vestibular apparatus may violate any job), which led to his dismissal from the flight almost to the end of the 60s. Place the planned crew of “Gemini 3” took Virgil Grissom and John Young.

Once a successful operation on the ear cavity and restore the status of flight personnel Shepard returned to the active preparation for the new in flights.

Alan Shepard on the Moon

At the age of 47 years, being at that time the oldest NASA astronaut Alan Shepard performed his second space flight as commander of the “Apollo 14”, which became the third successful American expedition to the Moon (January 31 – February 9, 1971).

Later years

In 1971, Alan Shepard was a delegate to the UN General Assembly.

In 1994, together with two journalists, he published the book «Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America’s Race to the Moon» («Flight to the Moon: The Inside Story of the American lunar race”). Dick Slayton also ranked among the authors of this book, but he died before the project was completed and became the author name only. Interestingly, in the edition of 1994 placed a collage of several photos showing Shepard’s beating on the moon on a golf ball (in fact, this episode was filmed only a camera, and the quality of the filming is much worse). According to the book it was created by the television miniseries in 1994.

He died July 21, 1998 from leukemia at a hospital in Monterey (CA). Five weeks later he died of his wife Louise Shepard. Both were cremated and their ashes were scattered at sea. They have three daughters (Laura, Julianne and Alice), and six grandchildren. Alice was the niece of his wife Louise, which they have adopted following the death of her mother (source – biography Shepard «Light This Candle» by Neil Thompson (Neal Thompson)).

He was awarded the NASA gold medal “For Distinguished Service”and”For outstanding achievements,” Congressional Space Medal of Honor, a medal and the medal de Lavaux Langley.

It is named after the new wing of the Planetarium in Concord. And in his honor, called New Shepard suborbital vehicle created by the American company Blue Origin.

Included in the Astronaut Hall of Fame.

  • The first flights of astronauts from around the world

Alan ShepardAlan Shepard
Alan ShepardAlan Shepard
Alan ShepardAlan Shepard

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