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Alan B. Shepard, Jr.

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Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr., 1923-1998.  NASA astronaut, 1959-1974; first American in space; fifth man on the moon.  Vintage 8" x 10" color lithograph of Shepard, inscribed To Julian & Ruth Dickenson with appreciation and pleasant memories of the 64 convention and signed with a full signature, Alan B. Shepard, Jr.

Shepard was one of the original American astronauts.  In 1959, NASA selected him as one of the first seven astronauts in Project Mercury, the United States' first manned space program.

On May 5, 1961, Shepard, a former Navy pilot, flew the Mercury Freedom 7 spacecraft in a 15-minute, 28-second flight that made him the first American to reach outer space.  Freedom 7 was launched at 9:34 a.m. EST atop a Redstone booster into a ballistic trajectory suborbital flight that reached an altitude of 116 miles.  It splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean some 302 miles downrange from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and was recovered by the aircraft carrier Lake Champlain. The spacecraft reached a top speed of 5,134 miles per hour.

After being grounded because of an inner ear problem, Shepard returned to space to command the Apollo 14 lunar mission.  Shepard and Edgar D. Mitchell spent 33½ hours on the moon, walking a little over two miles during two walks, totaling 9 hours 17 minutes, on the surface.  Toward the end of the second moonwalk, Shepard, an avid golfer, hit two golf balls with a makeshift club.  One of them, Shepard said, went "miles and miles and miles" in gravity 1/6 of that on Earth.

This photograph appears to be an official NASA photo.  The backstamp reads “Alan B. Shepard, Jr.  /  Commander, USN  /  NASA Astronaut.

Shepard has inscribed and signed in blue ballpoint pen.  The photo has a couple of slight creases, neither of which touches the inscription or signature.  Overall it is in very good to fine condition.




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