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A Tribute to Alan B. Shepard, Jr. (1923-1998)

  Alan B. Shepard, Jr.
Video: Highlights of
Alan B. Shepard’s Career

Play Video  
(running time: 4:21)

His flight on May 5, 1961, dubbedFreedom 7,may have only lasted 15 minutes, but it turned astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr., into a household name and a national hero. In this video, NASA has compiled a touching tribute to this American legend.

See some of the outstanding accomplishments of Alan B. Shepard’s career in NASA’s video tribute.

To watch this video, you need the RealPlayer plug-in.Downloadit now.

What was Shepard’s Mercury flight like? Why was it such an accomplishment?

Who were the other original Mercury astronauts? (Hint: There were seven total.)

What grounded Alan B. Shepard? How was he able to overcome this setback?

How did space travel change between the Mercury and Apollo space programs?

Future Plan

  1. Gather all your great ideas and research materials, brainstorm more great ideas with others, and make a plan for the future to answer these questions:

While it’s still a dangerous venture, spaceflight is becoming more and more accessible. What opportunities will there be for people who decide to travel in space? How much should it cost? How can it be made safer?

  2. Choose one of these styles for your presentation: pursuasive speech, science article, science fiction story.
  3. When you’re finished, present your plan to the class. The presentation should give an overview of the steps in your plan, explain who should be responsible for executing each step, and describe what costs and benefits are associated with the plan. You can enhance the presentation with audiovisual materials, models, and demonstrations. Presentations will be evaluated on:
  • Clear definition of the problem or need.
  • Clear presentation of facts and sources.
  • Organization (beginning, middle, and end).
  • Group participation and attentiveness during other presentations.
  • Effect on the audience.