Apollo 14 Astronaut Alan Shepard

Alan B. Shepard


Astronaut Alan Shepard was born November 18th, 1923, in East Derry, New Hampshire. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1944 and received his wings in 1947. In 1950, he attended the United States Navy Test Pilot School in Maryland. After graduation, he participated in flight test work which included high- altitude tests to obtain data on light at different altitudes and on a variety of air masses over the American continent.

Shepard was the first American to journey into space; a milestone in space exploration. On May 5th, 1961, in the Freedom 7 spacecraft, he was launched by a Redstone vehicle on a ballistic trajectory suborbital flight.

In 1963, he was designated Chief of the Astronaut Office with responsibility for monitoring the coordination, scheduling, and control of all activities involving NASA astronauts. Shepard made his second space flight as spacecraft commander on Apollo 14 in 1971. Joined by lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell, they were the third crew to complete a moon landing while command module pilot Stuart Roosa stayed in orbit. Shepard and Mitchell subsequently deployed various scientific equipment, activated science experiments, collected almost 100 pounds of lunar samples, and traveled the longest distance traversed on the lunar surface.

He resumed his duties as Chief of the Astronaut Office in 1971 and served until he retired from NASA and the Navy on August 1st, 1974.