Freedom 7

The Historic Flight of Alan B. Shepard, Jr.

  • Colin Burgess

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Also part of the Space Exploration book sub series (SPACEE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. Colin Burgess
    Pages 29-64
  3. Colin Burgess
    Pages 65-101
  4. Colin Burgess
    Pages 103-138
  5. Colin Burgess
    Pages 139-158
  6. Colin Burgess
    Pages 159-206
  7. Colin Burgess
    Pages 207-224
  8. Colin Burgess
    Pages 225-243
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 245-266

About this book


Inevitably, there are times in a nation’s history when its hopes, fears and confidence in its own destiny appear to hinge on the fate of a single person. One of these pivotal moments occurred on the early morning of May 5, 1961, when a 37-year-old test pilot squeezed himself into the confines of the tiny Mercury spacecraft that he had named Freedom 7. On that historic day, U.S. Navy Commander Alan Shepard carried with him the hopes, prayers, and anxieties of a nation as his Redstone rocket blasted free of the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, hurling him upwards on a 15-minute suborbital flight that also propelled the United States into the bold new frontier of human space exploration.

This book tells the enthralling story of that pioeering flight as recalled by many of the participants in the Freedom 7 story, including Shepard himself, with anecdotal details and tales never before revealed in print.

Although beaten into space just three weeks earlier by the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Alan Shepard’s history-making mission aboard Freedom 7 nevertheless provided America’s first tentative step into space that would one day see its Apollo astronauts – including Alan Shepard – walk on the Moon.


Alan Shepard First American in Space First Suborbital Flight Freedom 7 Mercury Program Mercury Space Flights Mercury-Redstone Pioneers in Early Spaceflight Pioneers in Early Spaceflight Spam in a Can

Authors and affiliations

  • Colin Burgess
    • 1
  1. 1.Bonnet BayAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-01155-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-01156-1
  • About this book