1st American in space honored on 50th anniversaryMay 5, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer in Astronomy & Space / Space Exploration
(AP) -- More than 600 people marked the exact moment when the first American rocketed into space 50 years ago.
Thursday's ceremony took place at the spot where Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard blasted off on a 15-minute suborbital flight on May 5, 1961.
The crowd at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station included Shepard's three daughters, about 100 Project Mercury workers and one of the two surviving Mercury seven astronauts, Scott Carpenter. They listened to a recording of Shepard's journey, timed to the second of his launch at 9:34 a.m.
Shepard later became the fifth man to walk on the moon. He died in 1998 at age 74.
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"1st American in space honored on 50th anniversary" May 5, 2011 http://phys.org/news/2011-05-1st-american-space-honored-50th.html