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Caption: First US human space flight, 1961. Redstone rocket launching the Freedom 7 capsule into space on 5th May 1961. This mission (Mercury-Redstone 3) launched Alan Shepard into space as part of the Mercury programme, making him the first US astronaut to travel into space, and the second person worldwide after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin - who had made his flight in April of that year. Shepard's flight lasted less than 16 minutes, reaching a height of 187 kilometres. Unlike Gagarin, Shepard did not orbit the Earth. Photographed at Launch Complex 5 (LC-5), Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.

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Keywords: 05/05/1961, 1900s, 1960s, 1961, 20 seconds or greater, 20th century, 5 may 1961, 5th may 1961, alan shepard, ascending, blast off, blast-off, blasting off, capsule, first american in space, florida, freedom 7, historic, historical, history, human, kennedy space center, launch, launch complex 5, launch pad 5, launch tower, launching, launchpad, lc-5, lift off, lift-off, lifting off, manned, mercury program, mercury redstone, mercury-redstone 3, mission, mr-3, nasa, no-one, nobody, north america, north american, programme, redstone rocket, rocket, space, spacecraft, spaceflight, take off, take-off, taking off, technological, technology, united states, us, usa

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First US human space flight, 1961

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