Shepard’s Shot

The first American spaceflight was a triumph—for an astronaut and for a nation.


Recovery Operations


The U.S.S. Lake Champlain had seen combat in Korea and would go on to participate in the 1962 Cuban blockade. But years later, many of the aircraft carrier's veterans recalled recovery operations for Freedom 7 as a favorite memory of their time on the ship. Here members of the crew cheer as Shepard arrives onboard after his helicopter ride from the splashdown point.

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