October 22, 2021

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US spaceflight at 60: A lot has changed since NASA’s 1st crewed mission

11 min read

It was 60 years ago today that the United States’ first spaceflyer urged nervous flight controllers to ”fix your little problem and light this candle” to send him into space.

Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard successfully completed a 15-minute, 28-second mission on May 5, 1961, becoming only the second person to achieve spaceflight after the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin just three weeks before. 

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