The first American spaceflight was a triumph—for an astronaut and for a nation.
- By Tony Reichhardt
- AirSpaceMag.com, May 05, 2011
After Freedom 7, much of Shepard's NASA career was spent in frustration. Although he had hoped to fly the first two-man Gemini mission, flight doctors sidelined him due to an inner ear condition, and he was relegated to office jobs. In 1969 he had corrective surgery and returned to flight status. Two years later, at the age of 47, he stood on the moon's surface as commander of the Apollo 14 mission.