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US Manned Spacecraft History And Photography
Mercury MR-3 — Freedom 7
National Air & Space Museum
Washington, DC

Mercury Freedom 7

• Serial Number:7
• Mission:MR-3
• Nickname:Freedom 7
• Crew:Shepard
• Launch Date:5-5-1961
• Flight Duration:0 Hours, 15 Minutes
Mercury Freedom 7 spacecraft on display at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC. This was the first US manned space flight. Freedom 7 has since been moved to the Visitors Center at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Astronaut Alan Shepard is the source of several of the best quotes from the golden age of space flight. For example, a friend once asked Al why he was picked to fly the first flight. Shepard replied, "They ran out of monkeys." As Shepard walked out onto the launch pad for his flight, he paused and looked up at the rocket and spacecraft. Everyone there knew that the rocket could blow up, and that Shepard was taking a real chance. Concerned that Shepard might be having second thoughts, one of the NASA people asked Shepard what he was thinking. Al responded that it was the last time he would see the rocket in one piece, and that he wanted to get a good look at it.

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