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View of the Earth From the Freedom 7 Mercury Capsule
View of the Earth From the Freedom 7 Mercury Capsule

On May 5, 1961, astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. had a view of Earth that no American had seen before, looking down on the home planet from the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule on his history-making suborbital flight. The 15 minute flight lifted him to an altitude of over 116 miles and a maximum speed of 5,134 miles per hour. During the flight, Shepard reported seeing the outlines of the west coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, along with Florida's Lake Okeechobee.

> Pioneering Mercury Astronauts Launched America's Future

Image Credit: NASA

Page Last Updated: May 5th, 2014
Page Editor: NASA Administrator