This Day in History: 05/05/1961 - The first American in space

This Day in History: 05/05/1961 - The first American in space

In This Day in History video clip - May 5, 1961: The first American in space - Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


First American In Space: The Flight of Alan B. Shepard

Sixty years ago, on May 5, 1961, a Redstone rocket hurled Alan Shepard’s Mercury capsule, Freedom 7, 116 miles (187 km) high and 302 miles (486 km) downrange from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Freedom 7 parachuted into the Atlantic just 15 minutes and 22 seconds later, after attaining a maximum velocity of 5,180 mph (8,336 km/h). Shepard, a Navy test pilot and NASA astronaut, became the first American to fly in space.

Shepard’s flight was a triumph, not least because it had been conducted live on national television and in front of the world press. It was a notable contrast to the secretive ways of the Communist-led Soviet Union. But 25 days earlier on April 12, 1961, Soviet Air Force pilot Yuri Gagarin had made a single orbit of the Earth, becoming the first human to travel beyond the atmosphere. It was just the latest Soviet space first, going back to Sputnik, the first artificial Earth satellite, in October 1957. Gagarin’s flight was yet another stunning propaganda success in the Cold War Space Race.

Earlier in 1961, however, it was not at all clear that the Soviets would come first. The Eisenhower Administration and Congress had created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958, a year after Sputnik, in part to overtake the Soviet Union in space. The new agency’s Project Mercury hoped to launch an astronaut by 1960, which seemed possible because Mercury would have two launch vehicles. The smaller Army Redstone missile could send astronauts on short, suborbital journeys the larger Air Force Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) would launch them into orbit—the project’s prime objective. The reliable Redstone was available many months earlier than the troubled Atlas, which was blowing up regularly. NASA officials also saw suborbital flights as valuable spaceflight experience at one point they thought all seven astronauts picked in April 1959 would fly such missions. But technical delays piled up. The first uncrewed Mercury-Redstone flight only got off in December 1960. Mercury-Redstone 2 on January 31, 1961, carrying the chimpanzee Ham, was mostly successful, but the booster did not cut off in time, triggering the capsule’s escape system and sending it higher and farther than intended. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, which had grown out of the Army and was still situated at Redstone Arsenal, wanted an additional test. That meant another delay for the crewed Mercury-Redstone 3 (MR-3) launch, which could have happened in March of 1961 were it not for the extra test.

Alan Shepard became the first American in space in this Mercury capsule. He named it "Freedom 7," the number signifying the seven Mercury astronauts. Now on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. (NASM)

That delay brought tensions inside NASA to a boiling point. Mercury was run by the Space Task Group, an organization led by Robert Gilruth and situated at the Langley Research Center in tidewater Virginia. Gilruth’s group would soon become the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas. Marshall was led by the famous German-American rocket engineer Wernher von Braun. Gilruth already disliked von Braun for being German and changing sides and his subordinates and the astronauts saw von Braun’s demand for a new test as timidity and German overengineering. NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC, ultimately decided in favor of Marshall because losing an astronaut was worse than losing the race. MR-BD (for Booster Development) flew successfully on March 24, 1961. That same month, the Soviets flew two successful orbital tests of their spacecraft. When Gagarin launched, they named it Vostok (East).

NASA had announced that three astronauts were candidates for MR-3: John Glenn, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, and Alan Shepard. A lot of things about that crew selection were never repeated, and for good reason. Highlighting those three implicitly diminished the other four: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, Walter Schirra, and Donald “Deke” Slayton. Moreover, Shepard was Gilruth’s choice from the outset, yet NASA concealed this until after the cancellation of the first launch attempt on May 2, 1961, due to bad weather. The press also learned that Shepard had named his capsule Freedom and added a 7 for the seven astronauts—a gesture of solidarity to the others. (Freedom 7 was also the seventh spacecraft built by the contractor, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri.)

Alan Shepard looks into “Freedom 7,” which is sitting on the deck of the carrier USS Lake Champlain, after his flight. (NASA)

In the early morning darkness of May 5, 1961, Shepard climbed into his capsule atop the Redstone. Born in 1923 in Derry, New Hampshire, he had graduated from the Naval Academy in 1944, served on a destroyer in the last year of the war, took flight training, flew off carriers, and tested Navy jets. He entered Freedom 7 about two hours before scheduled launch at 7:20 am. Yet, technical delays dragged on—two stories about that wait were later made famous by Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff. Shepard had to urinate in his spacesuit because no provision had been made for the astronaut to relieve himself, and when he became irritated with the delays, he allegedly told launch controllers: “Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?” Shortly after that, at 9:34 am, they finally did.

The launch of the Mercury-Redstone (MR-3), with “Freedom 7” capsule, on May 5, 1961. (NASA)

The rocket burned for a little over two minutes with the acceleration ramming him into his couch with a force of over six “Gs” (six times Earth’s gravity). After separating, the capsule turned around and pointed the heatshield forward for reentry. During the five minutes of weightlessness, Shepard tested Freedom 7’s attitude control systems and extended the periscope to see back to Florida. (His capsule did not have the overhead window built into later vehicles.) Once over the top, it was time to fire the retrorockets—not needed for his flight, but a test of how to get out of orbit. The brief reentry was brutal, with peak “G” loads of over 11. Parachute deployment was normal, and his spacecraft hit the ocean with a jarring impact he compared to landing on an aircraft carrier. A Marine helicopter picked him up and took him to the USS Lake Champlain.

Alan Shepard picked-up by a U. S. Marine helicopter at the end of his sub-orbital flight. (NASA)

Alan Shepard onboard a helicopter as he is transported from the aircraft carrier to meet NASA officials on Grand Bahama Island. (NASA)

Now a national hero, Alan Shepard was decorated by President John F. Kennedy at the White House on May 8. Less than three weeks later, on May 25, 1961, Kennedy asked Congress to approve a program to land humans on the Moon, a direct response to Gagarin’s flight. If Shepard’s mission had failed, the president likely could not have made that announcement.

President John F. Kennedy presented the NASA's Distinguished Service Medal Award to Alan Shepard in a Rose Garden ceremony on May 8, 1961. (NASA)

There were ironies in the aftermath of Shepard’s flight. Grissom flew a near-repeat on July 21, 1961, and then NASA cancelled further suborbital missions to concentrate on getting into orbit. When John Glenn circled the Earth three times in Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962, it eclipsed Shepard and Grissom in the public mind. Glenn was not only more charismatic his mission finally equaled what the Soviets had done twice (Gherman Titov spent a day in space in August 1961). In 1963, Shepard was knocked off flight status for six years because of an inner-ear condition, but then, in the final irony, he became the only Mercury astronaut to go the Moon, commanding the Apollo 14 landing. He died in 1998, a legend. He will always be the first American, and second human, to fly in space, and the fifth to walk on the Moon.

Michael J. Neufeld is a senior curator in the Museum’s Space History Department and is responsible for Mercury and Gemini spacecraft, among other collections.


On This Day: Alan Shepard is 1st American in space

May 5 (UPI) -- On this date in history:

In 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on the island of St. Helena.

In 1847, the American Medical Association was founded in Philadelphia.

In 1862, Mexican troops, outnumbered 3-1, defeated invading French forces of Napoleon III.

In 1904, Cy Young of the Boston Americans pitched Major League Baseball's first perfect game in a 3-0 win over Philadelphia.

In 1925, biology teacher John Scopes was arrested for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in violation of Tennessee state laws.

In 1930, British and Indian troops were put on alert in the major cities throughout India following the arrest and incarceration of Mahatma Gandhi.

In 1932, Sen. George W. Norris, R-Neb., leader of the western insurgent Republicans, bolted the party and threw his support behind Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt for president.

In 1942, Japanese forces stormed the Philippine island of Corregidor in a bid to capture a strategic access point to Manila Bay. By 9:30 a.m. on May 6, the Japanese had taken control of the island fortress.

In 1945, Elsie Mitchell and five neighborhood children were killed in Lakeview, Ore., when a Japanese balloon they had found in the woods exploded. They were listed as the only known World War II civilian fatalities in the continental United States.

In 1961, astronaut Alan Shepard became the United States' first man in space in a brief sub-orbital flight from Cape Canaveral.

In 1981, imprisoned Irish-Catholic militant Bobby Sands died after refusing food for 66 days in protest of his imprisonment by British authorities as a criminal rather than a political prisoner.

In 1995, a surprise hail storm and flash flooding in Dallas left 17 people dead. It was the worst recorded hail storm in the United States in the 20th century.

In 1996, Jose Maria Aznar became prime minister of Spain.

In 2003, authorities said a two-day wave of tornadoes killed about 40 people in Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee. About 400 tornadoes would go on to strike several Southern states over a nine-day period, killing 42 people and causing nearly $1 billion in damage.

In 2005, British Prime Minister Tony Blair was elected to a third term.

In 2010, Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua died after a long illness and Goodluck Jonathan, the vice president, assumed the presidency.

In 2019, Thailand crowned a new king for the first time in nearly 70 decades -- Maha Vajiralongkorn.

In 2020, Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized after undergoing treatment for a benign gallbladder condition.


Alan Shepard becomes first American in space on this day in history – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Sixty years after Alan Shepard became the first American in the universe, everyday people are on the verge of following in the footsteps of his universe. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company is finally launching short-hop tickets from Texas launched by a rocket named New Shepard. Details will be announced on Wednesday, the 60th anniversary of Shepherd’s Mercury flight. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic aims to begin a sightseeing flight next year as soon as he boarded a rocket ship launched by space skimming for a test run from New Mexico. And Elon Musk’s SpaceX will launch a billionaire and his sweepstakes winner in September. Then, in January, three businessmen will fly to the International Space Station. “It’s a big leap, isn’t it?” NASA astronaut Shane Kimbro said he was the commander of the latest flight to the SpaceX space station. “But it’s pretty cool … Citizens can have the opportunity to go into space and experience what we’ve gained.” It’s all on the 15-minute flight of Shepherd on May 5, 1961. It is rooted. Shepherd was actually the second person in space — the Soviet Union launched astronaut Yuri Gagarin three weeks ago in Shepherd’s eternal disappointment. Astronaut Mercury and a Navy test pilot, 37, cut a smooth sci-fi figure in a silver spacesuit, looking up at the Redstone rocket in the pre-dawn darkness of Cape Canaveral. Impatient with all the delays, including another hold of the countdown just minutes before the launch, he famously roared to his mic: “You fix your little problem and let this candle ignite. Hmm? ”His capsule, Freedom 7, soared to a high degree. A distance of 116 miles (186 kilometers) before parachuting into the Atlantic Ocean. Twenty days later, President John F. Kennedy promised to land the person on the moon and return it safely by the end of the decade, which was fulfilled by Apollo 11 in July 1969. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. According to NASA, Shepherd, who died in 1998, commanded Apollo 14 in 1971, becoming the fifth moonwalker and lonely lunar golfer. Since the pioneering flights of Gagarin and Shepherd, 579 people have jumped into space and reached their surroundings. Nearly two-thirds are American and over 20% are Soviet or Russian. NASA’s crew has become more diverse in recent decades, but about 90% are male and most are white. Educators at the Black Community College in Tempe, Arizona see her spot on SpaceX’s next private flight as a symbol. Cyan Proctor uses JEDI, an acronym for “Fair, Fair, Diverse and Comprehensive Universe.” NASA does not always participate in space travel, but today. “Our goal is a day when everyone becomes an astronaut,” NASA’s manned spaceflight chief Kathy Lueders said on Sunday following a splashdown of the SpaceX capsule with four astronauts. Said. “We are very excited to see it in orbit.” Twenty years ago, NASA clashed with Russian space officials over the world’s first space traveler’s flight. California businessman Dennis Tito has paid $ 20 million to visit a space station launched on a Russian rocket. Virginia-based Space Adventures has arranged a week-long trip to Tito, which ended May 6, 2001, followed by seven sightseeing flights. Anderson tweeted last week. “The universe is more open than ever, and for everyone.” There is already a line. Russian actresses and film directors are set to launch from Kazakhstan in the fall. Then in December, two of Space Adventures’ latest clients will follow, launching on the Russian Soyuz rocket. SpaceX will be next in January with three businessmen. The flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida was arranged by Axiom Space, a Houston company run by a former NASA employee. And as early as 2023, SpaceX will bring Japanese entrepreneurs and their guests around the moon. Although he has no fans of manned spaceflight, he prefers robot explorers, but Alex Roland, a professor of honorary history at Duke University, said the emergence of a spaceflight was “the most important change in the last 60 years.” Still he is novel. I think that a lot of attention will be drawn if there is no more and there are inevitable deaths. In that case, the admission fee will be higher. US, Canadian, and Israeli entrepreneurs using SpaceX early next year are paying $ 55 million each. Half-week mission. Virgin Galactic tickets are considerably cheaper in minutes compared to weightless days. Initially it was $ 250,000, but the price is expected to rise as Branson’s company begins accepting reservations again. For SpaceX’s private flight in a fully automated dragon capsule, tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman doesn’t say what he’s paying for. He considers the three-day flight a “great responsibility” and has not taken any shortcuts to training. He pulled the crew to Mount Rainier last weekend to strengthen them. “If something goes wrong, everyone else will retreat their ambitions to become commercial astronauts,” Isaacman said recently. The University of Washington, which founded the John Logsdon Institute for Space Policy, Professor Emeritus of George, has mixed feelings about this transition from space exploration to adventure travel. “It removes romance and excitement from going to space,” Logsdon said in an email this week. Rather than the dawn of a new era as many have declared, “It seems like the end of an era when space flight was special. I think it’s progress.” ___ The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Is receiving support from. Department of Science Education at the Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Sixty years after Alan Shepard became the first American in the universe, everyday people are on the verge of following in the footsteps of his universe.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company is finally launching short-hop ticket sales from Texas launched by a rocket named New Shepard. Details will be announced on Wednesday, the 60th anniversary of Shepherd’s Mercury flight.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic aims to begin its sightseeing flight next year as soon as it skims through space and board a rocket ship launched by plane for a test run from New Mexico.

And Elon Musk’s SpaceX will launch a billionaire and his sweepstakes winner in September. Then, in January, three businessmen will fly to the International Space Station.

“That’s a big leap, isn’t it?” NASA astronaut Shane Kimbro said he was the commander of the latest flight to the SpaceX space station. “But it’s pretty cool … Citizens can have the opportunity to go to space and experience what we’ve gained.”

It’s all rooted in the 15-minute flight of Shepherd on May 5, 1961.

Shepherd was actually the second person in the universe. The Soviet Union launched astronaut Yuri Gagarin three weeks ago, causing Shepherd’s eternal disappointment.

Astronaut Mercury and a Navy test pilot, 37, cut a smooth sci-fi figure in a silver spacesuit, looking up at the Redstone rocket in the pre-dawn darkness of Cape Canaveral. Impatient with all the delays, including another hold on the countdown just before the launch, he famously roared into Mike. “Why don’t you solve a small problem and light this candle?”

His capsule, Freedom 7, soared to an altitude of 116 miles (186 kilometers) before parachuting into the Atlantic Ocean.

Twenty days later, President John F. Kennedy promised to land the man on the moon and return it safely by the end of the decade. This was promised by Apollo 11 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in July 1969.

Shepherd, who died in 1998, commanded Apollo 14 in 1971, becoming the fifth moonwalker and lonely lunar golfer.

According to NASA, 579 people have jumped into space and reached their surroundings since the pioneering flights of Gagarin and Shepherd. Nearly two-thirds are American and over 20% are Soviet or Russian. NASA’s crew has become more diverse in recent decades, but about 90% are male and most are white.

Educators at the Black Community College in Tempe, Arizona see her spot on SpaceX’s next private flight as a symbol. Sian Proctor uses the acronym JEDI for “fair, impartial, diverse and inclusive space.”

NASA does not always participate in space travel, but today it does.

“Our goal is to be a day for everyone to become astronauts,” said Kathy Lueders, NASA’s head of manned spaceflight, on Sunday’s splashdown of the SpaceX capsule with four astronauts. Followed by. “We are very excited to see it getting on track.”

Twenty years ago, NASA clashed with Russian space officials over the world’s first space traveler flight.

California businessman Dennis Tito was launched on a Russian rocket and paid $ 20 million to visit a space station. Virginia-based Space Adventures has arranged a week-long trip to Tito, which ended May 6, 2001, followed by seven sightseeing flights.

“By opening his checkbook, he started the industry 20 years ago,” Space Adventures co-founder Eric Anderson tweeted last week. “The universe is more open to everyone than ever before.”

Russian actresses and film directors are set to launch from Kazakhstan in the fall. Then in December, two of Space Adventures’ latest clients will follow, launching on the Russian Soyuz rocket. SpaceX will be next in January with three businessmen. The flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida was arranged by Axiom Space, a Houston company run by a former NASA employee. And as early as 2023, SpaceX will take Japanese entrepreneurs and their guests back and forth around the moon.

Although not a fan of manned spaceflight, he prefers robot explorers, but Alex Roland, an honorary history professor at Duke University, said the emergence of a spaceflight could be “the most important change in the last 60 years.” I admit that I have sex. Still, he wonders if there is a lot of interest if the novelty disappears and the inevitable deaths occur.

Then the admission fee is high.

US, Canadian, and Israeli entrepreneurs flying SpaceX early next year are paying $ 55 million each for a week and a half mission.

Virgin Galactic tickets are considerably cheaper in minutes compared to weightless days. Initially at $ 250,000, the price is expected to rise as Branson’s company begins accepting reservations again.

When it comes to SpaceX’s private flight in a fully automated dragon capsule, tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman says he’s not paying. He considers the three-day flight a “great responsibility” and has not taken any shortcuts to training. He took the crew last weekend to hike Mount Rainier.

“If something goes wrong, it will retreat the ambition of everyone else going and becoming a commercial astronaut,” Isaacman said recently.

John Logsdon, an emeritus professor at George Washington University, who founded the Institute for Space Policy, has mixed feelings about this transition from space exploration to adventure travel.

“It removes romance and excitement from going to space,” Logsdon said in an email this week. Instead of the dawn of a new era as many have declared, “it seems like the end of an era when spaceflight was special. I think it’s progress.”

The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

Alan Shepard becomes first American in space on this day in history Source link Alan Shepard becomes first American in space on this day in history


This Day in History: May 5, 1961: The first American in space

From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. is launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NASA was established in 1958 to keep U.S. space efforts abreast of recent Soviet achievements, such as the launching of the world's first artificial satellite--Sputnik 1--in 1957. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the two superpowers raced to become the first country to put a man in space and return him to Earth. On April 12, 1961, the Soviet space program won the race when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched into space, put in orbit around the planet, and safely returned to Earth. One month later, Shepard's suborbital flight restored faith in the U.S. space program.


This Day in History: 05/05/1961 - The first American in space - HISTORY

Posted on 05/05/2021 7:31:14 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT

Sixty years after Alan Shepard became the first American in space, everyday people are on the verge of following in his cosmic footsteps.

. And Elon Musk's SpaceX will launch a billionaire and his sweepstakes winners in September. That will be followed by a flight by three businessmen to the International Space Station in January.

It's all rooted in Shepard's 15-minute flight on May 5, 1961.

Shepard, who died in 1998, went on to command Apollo 14 in 1971, becoming the fifth moonwalker — and lone lunar golfer.

. California businessman Dennis Tito paid $20 million to visit the space station, launching atop a Russian rocket. Virginia-based Space Adventures arranged Tito's weeklong trip, which ended May 6, 2001, as well as seven more tourist flights that followed.

The U.S., Canadian and Israeli entrepreneurs flying SpaceX early next year are paying $55 million — each — for their 1 1/2-week mission.

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60 years since 1st American in space: Tourists lining up

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Sixty years after Alan Shepard became the first American in space, everyday people are on the verge of following in his cosmic footsteps.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin used Wednesday’s anniversary to kick off an auction for a seat on the company’s first crew spaceflight — a short Shepard-like hop launched by a rocket named New Shepard. The Texas liftoff is targeted for July 20, the date of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic aims to kick off tourist flights next year, just as soon as he straps into his space-skimming, plane-launched rocketship for a test run from the New Mexico base.

And Elon Musk’s SpaceX will launch a billionaire and his sweepstakes winners in September. That will be followed by a flight by three businessmen to the International Space Station in January.

“We’ve always enjoyed this incredible thing called space, but we always want more people to be able to experience it as well,” NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough said from the space station Wednesday. “So I think this is a great step in the right direction.”

It’s all rooted in Shepard’s 15-minute flight on May 5, 1961.

Shepard was actually the second person in space — the Soviet Union launched cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin three weeks earlier, to Shepard’s everlasting dismay.

The 37-year-old Mercury astronaut and Navy test pilot cut a slick sci-fi figure in his silver spacesuit as he stood in the predawn darkness at Cape Canaveral, looking up at his Redstone rocket. Impatient with all the delays, including another hold in the countdown just minutes before launch, he famously growled into his mic: “Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?”

His capsule, Freedom 7, soared to an altitude of 116 miles (186 kilometers) before parachuting into the Atlantic.

Twenty days later, President John F. Kennedy committed to landing a man on the moon and returning him safely by decade’s end, a promise made good in July 1969 by Apollo 11′s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Shepard, who died in 1998, went on to command Apollo 14 in 1971, becoming the fifth moonwalker — and lone lunar golfer.

Since Gagarin and Shepard’s pioneering flights, 579 people have rocketed into space or reached its fringes, according to NASA. Nearly two-thirds are American and just over 20% Soviet or Russian. About 90% are male and most are white, although NASA’s crews have been more diverse in recent decades.

A Black community college educator from Tempe, Arizona, sees her spot on SpaceX’s upcoming private flight as a symbol. Sian Proctor uses the acronym J.E.D.I. for “a just, equitable, diverse and inclusive space.”

NASA wasn’t always on board with space tourism, but is today.

“Our goal is one day that everyone’s a space person,” NASA’s human spaceflight chief, Kathy Lueders said following Sunday’s splashdown of a SpaceX capsule with four astronauts. “We’re very excited to see it starting to take off.”

Twenty years ago, NASA clashed with Russian space officials over the flight of the world’s first space tourist.

California businessman Dennis Tito paid $20 million to visit the space station, launching atop a Russian rocket. Virginia-based Space Adventures arranged Tito’s weeklong trip, which ended May 6, 2001, as well as seven more tourist flights that followed.

“By opening up his checkbook, he kicked off an industry 20 yrs ago,” Space Adventures co-founder Eric Anderson tweeted last week. “Space is opening up more than it ever has, and for all.”

A Russian actress and movie director are supposed to launch from Kazakhstan in the fall. They’ll be followed in December by Space Adventures’ two newest clients, also launching on a Russian Soyuz rocket. SpaceX will be next up in January with the three businessmen the flight from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center was arranged by Axiom Space, a Houston company run by former NASA employees. And as early as 2023, SpaceX is supposed to take a Japanese entrepreneur and his guests around the moon and back.

While no fan of human spaceflight — he prefers robotic explorers — Duke University emeritus history professor Alex Roland acknowledges the emergence of spaceflight companies might be “the most significant change in the last 60 years.” Yet he wonders whether there will be much interest once the novelty wears off and the inevitable fatalities occur.

Then there’s the high price of admission.

The U.S., Canadian and Israeli entrepreneurs flying SpaceX early next year are paying $55 million — each — for their 1 1/2-week mission.

Virgin Galactic’s tickets cost considerably less for minutes versus days of weightlessness. Initially $250,000, the price is expected to go up once Branson’s company starts accepting reservations again.

Blue Origin declined Wednesday to give a ticket price for future sales and would not comment on who else — besides the auction winner — will be on board the capsule in July. A couple more crew flights, each lasting minutes, would follow by year’s end.

As for SpaceX’s private flight on a fully automated Dragon capsule, tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman won’t say what he’s paying. He considers his three-day flight a “great responsibility” and is taking no shortcuts in training he took his crewmates hiking up Mount Rainier last weekend to toughen them up.

“If something does go wrong, it will set back every other person’s ambition to go and become a commercial astronaut,” Isaacman said recently.

John Logsdon, professor emeritus at George Washington University, where he founded the Space Policy Institute, has mixed feelings about this shift from space exploration to adventure tourism.

“It takes the romance and excitement out of going to space,” Logsdon said in an email this week. Instead of the dawn of a new era like so many have proclaimed, it’s “more like the end of the era when space flight was special. I guess that is progress.”

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


1983: First American Woman in Space

Her name was Sally Ride and she was than 32 years old. It is interesting that she remained the youngest American person ever launched into space. Taking into account all the world’s nations, Sally Ride was the third woman in history to go into space. She was preceded by two Soviet cosmonaut women, Valentina Tereshkova and Svetlana Savitskaya (the first one in 1963 and the second in 1982). It should be noted that the U.S. were 20 years behind the USSR in sending the first woman into space (Tereshkova was launched exactly 20 years and 2 days before Sally Ride).

Sally Ride was born in Los Angeles in 1951. She was a physicist, and studied at the famous Stanford University, where she earned a Ph.D. in physics. She applied to participate in the NASA space program and was admitted in 1978.

Sally Ride’s space flight was carried out on board the Challenger, on its second mission (if counting all the space shuttles, it was the seventh mission). During this mission, Sally was in the shuttle with four male astronauts. The mission, during which the shuttle Challenger flew around the Earth 97 times, lasted about six days.

Sally Ride was later sent into space one more time, again in the Challenger, on the sixth mission of that space shuttle. The Challenger exploded in a tragic accident on its tenth mission, about a year and three months after Sally Ride’s last flight. Astronaut Ride lived to be 61 years of age, and died in California in 2012 of pancreatic cancer.


This Day In History- Alan Shepard Became The First American In Space

Today in 1809,Mary Kies became the first woman to be issued a US patent for her new technique of weaving straw with silk and thread to make hats was signed by President James Madison.

Today in 1891,Carnegie Hall had its opening night in New York City. It was originally named Music Hall, with a concert conducted by maestro Walter Damrosch and composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Today in 1925,John T. Scopes was arrested in Tennessee for teaching Darwin's “Theory of Evolution.”He was charged on May 25thand the case ended with a guilty verdict with a fine of $100.

Today in 1945,a Japanese balloon bomb exploded at Mitchell Recreation Area on Gearhart Mountain in Oregon,which killed the pregnant wife of a minister and five children. These were the only recorded deaths during World War II to happen on American soil.

Today in 1961,Alan Shepard became the first American in space during a 15-minute sub-orbital flight 115 miles above the earth aboard the Mercury capsule "Freedom 7.”

Today in 1978,Cincinnati Red Pete Rose became the 14th player ever to get 3,000 hits.

Today in 1994,American teen Michael Fay received four lashes on his bare buttocks with a 4-foot long bamboo cane in Singapore. He was punished, according to local law, for acts of vandalism. His original sentence was six lashes, but it was reduced to four after U.S. officials requested leniency.

Today in 1999,the first Kosovo refugees brought to the United States, 453 of them, arrived at Fort Dix in New Jersey.

Today in 2000,the "ILOVEYOU" e-mail virus infected computer networks and hard drives across the globe,spawning various imitations.

Today in 2013,seven Americans and one German soldier were killed in three separate attacks in Afghanistan.

Today in 2013,former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who had been seriously wounded in a 2011 shooting at a Tucson, Arizona, shopping mall,received the 2013 Profile in Courage award at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

Today in 2018,President Donald Trump signed his first piece of major legislation, a $1-trillion spending bill to keep the government operating through September.


This Day in History: 05/05/1961 - The first American in space - HISTORY

. and yet, somehow never took driving lessons.

hubiestubert: . and yet, somehow never took driving lessons.

The Mako wasn't that bad, just tedious. The problem is people would just try and Skyrim up a mountain to get to the map marker instead of following easier terrain around, making it take 3 times as long as the easy way around.

Klivian: hubiestubert: . and yet, somehow never took driving lessons.

The Mako wasn't that bad, just tedious. The problem is people would just try and Skyrim up a mountain to get to the map marker instead of following easier terrain around, making it take 3 times as long as the easy way around.

I replayed the entire series easily five times before I discovered that the Mako had a Cannon.

I don't mean the machine gun that took 10 'overheat/hide/repeat' cycles to take out a turret. I mean that the right bumper (I think) fired a goddamn tank round that would take them out in two shots.

/goddamn thresher Maws stole weeks of my life

hubiestubert: . and yet, somehow never took driving lessons.

Jster422: Klivian: hubiestubert: . and yet, somehow never took driving lessons.

The Mako wasn't that bad, just tedious. The problem is people would just try and Skyrim up a mountain to get to the map marker instead of following easier terrain around, making it take 3 times as long as the easy way around.

I replayed the entire series easily five times before I discovered that the Mako had a Cannon.

I don't mean the machine gun that took 10 'overheat/hide/repeat' cycles to take out a turret. I mean that the right bumper (I think) fired a goddamn tank round that would take them out in two shots.

/goddamn thresher Maws stole weeks of my life

Meh, on New Game+ I would get out to fight them on foot on purpose, way more XP that way.

BKITU: I'll be uttering Shepard's Prayer in his honor.

BKITU says "Everything is A-Okay!"

Klivian: Jster422: Klivian: hubiestubert: . and yet, somehow never took driving lessons.

The Mako wasn't that bad, just tedious. The problem is people would just try and Skyrim up a mountain to get to the map marker instead of following easier terrain around, making it take 3 times as long as the easy way around.

I replayed the entire series easily five times before I discovered that the Mako had a Cannon.

I don't mean the machine gun that took 10 'overheat/hide/repeat' cycles to take out a turret. I mean that the right bumper (I think) fired a goddamn tank round that would take them out in two shots.

/goddamn thresher Maws stole weeks of my life

Meh, on New Game+ I would get out to fight them on foot on purpose, way more XP that way.

Only the killing blow is what determines how much XP you get. So whittling down a Maw with the cannon and hopping out to finish it off nets you the XP as if the whole fight were on foot.

Kalashinator: Klivian: Jster422: Klivian: hubiestubert: . and yet, somehow never took driving lessons.

The Mako wasn't that bad, just tedious. The problem is people would just try and Skyrim up a mountain to get to the map marker instead of following easier terrain around, making it take 3 times as long as the easy way around.

I replayed the entire series easily five times before I discovered that the Mako had a Cannon.

I don't mean the machine gun that took 10 'overheat/hide/repeat' cycles to take out a turret. I mean that the right bumper (I think) fired a goddamn tank round that would take them out in two shots.

/goddamn thresher Maws stole weeks of my life

Meh, on New Game+ I would get out to fight them on foot on purpose, way more XP that way.

Only the killing blow is what determines how much XP you get. So whittling down a Maw with the cannon and hopping out to finish it off nets you the XP as if the whole fight were on foot.

I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favorite post on the Farkadel.

SamFlagg: Kalashinator: Klivian: Jster422: Klivian: hubiestubert: . and yet, somehow never took driving lessons.

The Mako wasn't that bad, just tedious. The problem is people would just try and Skyrim up a mountain to get to the map marker instead of following easier terrain around, making it take 3 times as long as the easy way around.

I replayed the entire series easily five times before I discovered that the Mako had a Cannon.

I don't mean the machine gun that took 10 'overheat/hide/repeat' cycles to take out a turret. I mean that the right bumper (I think) fired a goddamn tank round that would take them out in two shots.

/goddamn thresher Maws stole weeks of my life

Meh, on New Game+ I would get out to fight them on foot on purpose, way more XP that way.

Only the killing blow is what determines how much XP you get. So whittling down a Maw with the cannon and hopping out to finish it off nets you the XP as if the whole fight were on foot.

I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favorite post on the Farkadel.


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