Thursday, May 6, 2010

See Alan Shepard's full flight from the cockpit.

It was 49 years ago on May 5th that Alan Shepard became the first American in space.  It was a shock to have Gagarin up there first, so the US had to to something quick.  Gagarin was still ahead since he did orbit, and Shepard was just kind of tossed up there, got a quick peek at space, and fell down again on a 15 minute trip.  But that's all it took to get the race to the moon going.  Russia lost that race, but gave it a very good try with their N1 exploding monster, but had to give up.  
This is a newly releases clip from  If you like this kind of stuff, this is the place to go spend money on DVDs.  I have several sets of different missions myself!
Alan Shepard's 15-minute suborbital flight marked the first American space flight. On the left is the pilot observation camera. On the right is the instrument panel camera. Both cameras are visible in the footage.
The instrument panel camera is the small lens in the upper right hand corner of the pilot footage, just over Shepard's left shoulder. The pilot observation camera is the little lens in the lower left hand corner of the instrument panel.
This footage is from a new digital transfer made by Spacecraft Films with the National Archives, who is now the holder of the original film.
The track covers his entire flight. Footage contained as separate angles on the Spacecraft Films Project Mercury DVD set.

Freedom 7 - May 5, 1961 from Mark Gray on Vimeo.

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