Shepard’s Shot

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


First Astronaut


The First Astronaut (with wife Louise, in front of the U.S. Capitol three days after his Mercury flight) received a hero's welcome and a medal from the President. But there was no ticker tape parade in New York, as there would be for John Glenn a year later. NASA Administrator James Webb was careful in using Shepard for propaganda purposes, and even turned down a request by the astronaut's home town of Virginia Beach, Virginia for him to appear as Chairman Marshall of the Armed Services Day parade. Webb also vetoed a joint television appearance with Yuri Gagarin in New York, which had been proposed by the ABC network.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus