Stamp honors 1st American in space 50 years later

May 04, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
In this image released by the USPS, Alan Shepard, left and the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, are seen on the new Forever postage stamps to issued by the USPS on Wednesday, May 4, 2011, at the Kennedy Space Center. (AP Photo/USPS)

(AP) -- The first American in space, Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, finally has his own stamp.

The Postal Service dedicated a Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of Shepard's suborbital flight, Freedom 7. The ceremony took place at Kennedy Space Center on the eve of the anniversary.

Shepard's three daughters were there, as was Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter. Carpenter told the crowd it's fitting that a Forever stamp was chosen to honor Shepard.

Carpenter says Shepard didn't like it that Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin beat him into by less than a month. But he says the success of Shepard's flight on May 5, 1961, helped lead America to the .

Shepard went on to command Apollo 14. He died in 1998.

Explore further: Cassini: Return to Rhea

More information: NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/50th

0 shares

Related Stories

NASA astronaut Scott Carpenter honored

Nov 06, 2007

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to honor Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter with its Ambassador of Exploration Award.

ISS crews honor Yuri Gagarin

Apr 12, 2007

The International Space Station crews sent their best wishes to Moscow Thursday in honor of the anniversary of the pioneering space journey of Yuri Gagarin.

Gagarin's widow fetes space flight with US astronauts

Apr 12, 2011

Legendary astronauts, including a veteran of the US Apollo programme and the first man to walk in space Tuesday joined the widow of Yuri Gagarin in the Kremlin to remember his space flight 50 years ago.

NASA honors late astronaut Charles Conrad

Nov 08, 2006

NASA says it will honor former astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad for his involvement in the U.S. space program with the Ambassador of Exploration award.

Recommended for you

Cassini: Return to Rhea

5 hours ago

After a couple of years in high-inclination orbits that limited its ability to encounter Saturn's moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft returned to Saturn's equatorial plane in March 2015.

Comet dust—planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'

13 hours ago

A team of scientists has a new explanation for the planet Mercury's dark, barely reflective surface. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the researchers suggest that a steady dusting of carbon from p ...

It's 'full spin ahead' for NASA soil moisture mapper

15 hours ago

The 20-foot (6-meter) "golden lasso" reflector antenna atop NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is now ready to wrangle up high-resolution global soil moisture data, following the successful ...

What drives the solar cycle?

16 hours ago

You can be thankful that we bask in the glow of a relatively placid star. Currently about halfway along its 10 billion year career on the Main Sequence, our sun fuses hydrogen into helium in a battle against ...

MESSENGER completes 4,000th orbit of Mercury

16 hours ago

On March 25, the MESSENGER spacecraft completed its 4,000th orbit of Mercury, and the lowest point in its orbit continues to move closer to the planet than ever before. The orbital phase of the MESSENGER ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.