Alan Shepard Biography
(Astronaut, Aviator, Entrepreneur)
Birthday: November 18, 1923 (Scorpio)
Born In: Derry
Alan Shepard was the first American to travel into space. He became the second human to travel into space, after the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. He started his career in the navy, on the destroyer ‘USS Cogswell,’ which was on active service in the Pacific Ocean. After his flying training, he joined the ‘Fighter Squadron 42’ (VF-42) to fly the ‘Vought F4U Corsair.’ He attended the ‘United States Naval Test Pilot School’ and subsequently conducted high-altitude flying tests. Shepard was one of the seven test pilots selected to be part of ‘NASA’s space initiative and became a national hero after his maiden flight into space. He commanded the first manned ‘Gemini’ mission that was the next level of the US space program after the ‘Mercury’ series. Shepard was the commander of the ‘Apollo 14’ mission that made America’s third successful landing on the Moon. This made him the fifth and the oldest person to walk on the surface of the Moon, at the age of 47. He was promoted to the rank of rear admiral in the ‘US Navy’ before he retired and spent the rest of his life close to his family. He died of leukemia in 1998.