On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, invited guests tour the blockhouse at Complex 5/6 during a celebration of Alan Shepard's historic flight 50 years ago. From left are Robert Sieck, former shuttle launch director; Andy Anderson, former manager for communications in the Mercury Mission Control Center; Bob Moser, former chief test conductor for the Mercury-Redstone launches; and John Twigg, former backup chief test conductor for the Mercury-Redstone launches.
The celebration was held at the launch site of the first U.S. manned spaceflight May 5, 1961, to mark the 50th anniversary of the flight. Fifty years ago, astronaut Alan Shepard lifted off inside the Mercury capsule, "Freedom 7," atop an 82-foot-tall Mercury-Redstone rocket at 9:34 a.m. EST, sending him on a remarkably successful, 15-minute suborbital flight. The event was attended by more than 200 workers from the original Mercury program and included a re-creation of Shepard's flight and recovery, as well as a tribute to his contributions as a moonwalker on the Apollo 14 lunar mission. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/topics/history/milestones/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett