The Launch of Mercury-Redstone
On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard Jr. became the first American in space when Freedom 7 was launched by a Mercury-Redstone rocket developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The rocket was based on the earlier Redstone rocket developed by Wernher von Braun's team before they transferred from the Army to NASA in 1960. Work contintued on the rocket and the first two Mercury-Redstones were assembled onsite at the Marshall Center with many of the components fabricated at Marshall. The Chrysler Corporation assembled an additional six vehicles.
Image credit: NASA/MSFC
Page Last Updated: July 28th, 2013
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