Shepard: 1st American in Space
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- On May 5, 1961, Alan B. Shepard Jr. completed a 15 minute rocket trip that made him the first American ever in space. How did you hear about the event?
- How did you feel when you learned that the Americans had made their first successful space flight?
- Shepard was almost the first man in space, but a Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, claimed that honor with a space flight he made only 23 days earlier. How did you feel about the competition between Soviet and American space programs? Did you think that space would ever be used for national defense?
- Throughout the 1960's, NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) prepared and practiced for a trip to the moon. How interested were you in the activities of NASA?
- Before this trip into space, did you ever think that it would be possible for people to travel in space? Did you want to travel in space or did the idea frighten you?
- How far did you think that space travel would go? Did you think that we would be able to study other planets in-depth? Did you think that we would ever discover other forms of life? What about establishing colonies on other planets?