First American In Space Eventually Walked On The Moon
NASA will posthumously honor Alan B. Shepard Jr., the first
American astronaut in space who later walked on the moon, with an
Ambassador of Exploration Award for his contributions to the U.S.
Alan Shepard Aboard Freedom 7 NASA Image
Shepard's family members will accept the award on his behalf
during a ceremony at 1730 EDT on Thursday, April 28, at the U.S.
Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, MD. His family will present the
award to the museum for permanent display. NASA's Chief Historian
Bill Barry will represent the agency at the event, which will
include a video message from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
Shepard, a 1945 graduate of the Naval Academy, was one of NASA's
original seven Mercury astronauts selected in April 1959. On May 5,
1961, he was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., aboard the Freedom
7 spacecraft on a suborbital flight that carried him to an altitude
of 116 miles.
Shepard made his second spaceflight as the commander of Apollo
14 from Jan. 31 to Feb. 9, 1971. He was accompanied on the third
lunar landing by astronauts Stuart Roosa and Edgar Mitchell.
Maneuvering the lunar module "Antares" to a landing in the hilly
upland Fra Mauro region of the moon, Shepard and Mitchell deployed
and activated a number of scientific instruments and collected
almost 100 pounds of lunar samples for return to Earth.
NASA Ambassador Of Exploration Award
NASA is giving the Ambassador of Exploration Award to the first
generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space
programs for realizing America's goal of going to the moon. The
award is a moon rock encased in Lucite, mounted for public
The rock is part of the 842 pounds of lunar samples collected
during six Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972. The astronauts or
family members receiving the award present it to a museum of their
choice, where the moon rock is placed on public display.