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  May 5, 1961: Remembering Mercury-Redstone 3

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Author Topic:   May 5, 1961: Remembering Mercury-Redstone 3
spacecraft films
Member

Posts: 802
From: Columbus, OH USA
Registered: Jun 2002

posted 05-05-2009 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacecraft films   Click Here to Email spacecraft films     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
May 5, 1961: Remembering Mercury-Redstone 3

Excerpt from Spacecraft Films Project Mercury documentary detailing the flight of Freedom 7, May 5, 1961. Take a few minutes and relive the first U.S. manned space flight.

KSCartist
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From: Titusville, FL USA
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posted 05-05-2009 08:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just wanted to wish all of you a Happy Cinquo de Mayo or what I call as "Alan Shepard in Space" Day.

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-05-2009 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a great day! I remember it just like it was yesterday.

divemaster
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From: ridgefield, ct
Registered: May 2002

posted 05-05-2009 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had to chime in with a personal note from Uncle Bill:
Thanks for the greeting on "OK Jose, you're on your way" day. Hope all is well with you and yours. xxb

Bill Dana

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-05-2010 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a fabulous day it was today 49 years ago! Remember it like it was yesterday.

I miss that feeling in the United States today.

Joe Frasketi
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Posts: 186
From: Florida USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 05-05-2010 08:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Frasketi   Click Here to Email Joe Frasketi     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
T+49 years and counting. Next year will be the big 5-0 for this historic flight.

I have a question that's been bugging me for years, and never really got an answer to it.

On May 5, 1961, I was working at the telemetry tracking station at Antigua AAFB some 1300 miles downrange. Although we were not involved in this suborbital flight with splashdown in the Bahamas some 150 miles downrange from Cape Canaveral, we wanted to see if we might be able to pick up a signal from the Mercury capsule.

Sure enough we did pick up a signal which only lasted a few seconds, approximately at the actual lift off time, with the tracking antenna pointed towards Cape Canaveral with it at the horizon.

Was later told that it was impossible to have picked up any signal from the Shepard's Mercury capsule.

Am still wondering if this was possible. Anybody have any thoughts on this?

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
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posted 05-05-2010 08:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Define "signal".

Joe Frasketi
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From: Florida USA
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posted 05-05-2010 10:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Frasketi   Click Here to Email Joe Frasketi     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Defining "Signal": In this particular case, radio frequency waves emanating from the spacecraft.

Obviousman
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From: NSW, Australia
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posted 05-06-2010 05:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Obviousman   Click Here to Email Obviousman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What frequency signal? HF? VHF? I suspect that "skip" (or similar) may well have been responsible for your momentary acquisition.

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-06-2010 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suspect you're right with the skip statement. It was most likely VHF amplitude modulation which is very susceptible to atmospheric skip, and the fact that the frequency was quiet and only being used by one entity, that would make it easier to obtain.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-05-2011 04:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA Television video release
50 years ago: Alan Shepard, first American in space

On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard made history, becoming the first U.S. astronaut in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight in his Freedom 7 capsule.

kking
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From: Topmost, Ky. USA
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 05-05-2011 06:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for kking   Click Here to Email kking     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got my tapes out listening to Shorty Powers giving updates on the countdown. A historic day 50 years ago.

capoetc
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From: Newnan GA (USA)
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 05-05-2011 10:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A big Air Force salute goes out today to the first American in space and fifth man to walk on the moon ... Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard, Jr.

Vaya con dios, Jose!

GACspaceguy
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From: Guyton, GA
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posted 05-05-2011 11:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I called my Mom at 9:34 AM this morning to thank her for making me watch that launch when I was a small child. It was the start of my love for everything that can fly and especially the Space Program.

drjeffbang
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Posts: 109
From: Virginia
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 05-05-2011 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for drjeffbang   Click Here to Email drjeffbang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My daughter and I celebrated by watching "For Miles and Miles" from "From the Earth to the Moon" last night.

Rick Boos
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From: Celina,Ohio U.S.A.
Registered: Feb 2000

posted 05-05-2011 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's hard to believe it's been 50 years, where has time gone? Great day, great man, and great event! Let's not forget the 50th anniversary for the other Mercury guys when their dates roll around!

DChudwin
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From: Lincolnshire IL USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 05-05-2011 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember the day well-- the degree of excitement around the nation was phenomenal.

Any speculation about the circumstances under which Al would have been the first human in space instead of Gagarin? I personally remember the disappointment when the Soviets were first.

Ken Havekotte
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Posts: 1977
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 05-05-2011 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dave, in short, it was mainly because von Braun wanted another booster development flight before MR-3 was to fly with Shepard piloting Freedom 7.

It was an awesome ceremony this morning in celebrating America's first astronaut spaceflight here at the Cape's old Launch Pad #5.

Throughout the ceremony, as we were seated on the actual pad concrete base, my eyes kept looking at the full-size Mercury Redstone rocket in front of me, the same type booster Shepard had flew on a half a century ago to this day!

It looked so small, or tiny, and primitive in comparison to later Saturn family launch vehicles, the current-day space shuttle, and to bigger, more powerful Atlas and Delta rocket machines.

In thinking back; where was I on this May day five decades ago? I was an Air Force brat, about 5 years of age, with my family stationed on an air force base in Puerto Rico, actually, a part of the 5,000-mile Atlantic Missile Range, when Shepard became America's first spaceman. At the time, I was probably playing with one of my toy rocket moon base sets.

Little did I know, fifty years later, would I be working on, observing, and celebrating the anniversary of a true American space hero on Florida's space coast, not really too far from that air force base in the West Indies I was on in 1961.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-05-2011 03:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photo gallery: 50th anniversary of the first U.S. manned space flight
NASA commemorated today the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. manned space flight with a time-synchronized multimedia replay of the 15-minute suborbital mission at the same Cape Canaveral launch pad that was used by the late astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. on May 5, 1961.

ilbasso
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From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 05-05-2011 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was at the event today, too. Like Ken, I was a young brat at the time of Shepard's flight. Watching it on TV was one of my earliest memories. It was an overwhelming feeling to sit at the launchpad today and watch the replay of Shepard's flight, reflecting on his bravery, the courage of his family, the hard work of the team that made the flight possible, and just how far we all have come in 50 years. It is at special occasions like this that I especially appreciate the community we have at cS, people who mark these events with true interest and respect.

hlbjr
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Posts: 341
From: Delray Beach Florida USA
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posted 05-05-2011 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was there today also and got to talk for a few seconds to Ken. It was great seeing and talking to so many people who worked on the Mercury project. I finished the afternoon buying a couple of books at the Air Force Space Museum located outside the Port Canaveral gate next to Space X Launch Operations building. It was a great day.

mercsim
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Posts: 143
From: Phoenix, AZ
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posted 05-05-2011 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mercsim   Click Here to Email mercsim     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think most of us have seen that footage dozens (okay, maybe hundreds) of times. However, NASA did a great job of putting together a great tribute for this great day.

His daughter Julie really summed it all up when she said "Who wouldn't want to follow that type of fellow American into whatever you were going to accomplish?"

PeterO
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From: Rochester, NH
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posted 05-06-2011 07:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PeterO   Click Here to Email PeterO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New Hampshire Public TV aired a special last night called Light This Candle.

They also posted Wally Schirra's tongue-in-cheek Alan B. Shepard, Jr. Astronaut Hero.

E2M Lem Man
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From: Los Angeles CA. USA
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 05-08-2011 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wish I had been at the Cape!

I celebrated by watching the TV version of "Moonshot", and From the Earth to the Moon's "Can we do this?" and "Miles and Miles". I also looked at the film "Race into Space" (which I also advised — but they didn't listen!).

ejectr
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From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-09-2011 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Which President gave Shepard his appointment to Rear Admiral lower half?

NavySpaceFan
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From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: May 2007

posted 05-09-2011 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ejectr:
Which President gave Shepard his appointment to Rear Admiral lower half?

It was President Nixon in 1971, and the rank was just Rear Admiral. The upper half/lower half thing did not occur until the late 80s/early 90s.

Captain Apollo
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From: UK
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posted 05-11-2011 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Captain Apollo   Click Here to Email Captain Apollo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PeterO:
New Hampshire Public TV aired a special last night called Light This Candle.
The version of Astronaut Hero on NHTV can't be the original - it has footage of Al on the moon in there.

ejectr
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Posts: 1524
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 05-05-2014 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can't let the day go by without at least posting a thank you to Alan Shepard for being the first US to ride the rocket. The day, the deed and you will always be remembered.

ColinBurgess
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From: Sydney, Australia
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posted 05-05-2014 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boy, what a ride!

lspooz
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Posts: 133
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Aug 2012

posted 05-05-2014 08:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, I'm glad someone lit a candle to 5/5!

Thanks for the reminder.

All times are CT (US)

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