50 Years of Astronauts

On May 5, 1961, NASA astronautAlan Shepard piloted his Freedom 7 Mercury capsule in a 15-minute suborbital flight, becoming America’s first astronaut. In this image, he is shown being hoisted aboard a U.S. Marine helicopter after splashdown. The flight carried him to an altitude of 116 statute miles.

The US Spaceflight program has obviously been a tremendous success, with some tremendous failures along the way.  With the end of the Space Shuttle program this year, it’s sad to think that a prominent chapter in NASA’s history may be gone forever.  Just last week, NASA released this poster for their latest trip to the International Space Station.

Times have changed, technology has crossed vast horizons, though in the scheme of the universe, we’ve barely scratched the surface for space exploration. Here’s to the next fifty years.