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Alan Shepard

December 4, 1996
Astronauts have been the stars of humankind's forays into space. When Russian Yuri Gagarin was hurled into Earth orbit in 1961 and Alan Shepard became the first American in space less than a month later, the men were hailed, not the rockets. Neil Armstrong's "one small step" onto moon dust in 1969 opened near-infinite hopes and possibilities. In recent years, however, budget-strapped NASA has come to choose cheaper and safer robot-based missions for space explorations.
July 23, 1998
For those of you who weren't around on May 5, 1961, some context is required to understand what astronaut Alan Shepard's brief space flight that day meant to Americans. That was the time of the Cold War, and the Soviet Union was widely and properly perceived as winning the space race. Nearly four years earlier, the Soviets announced they had developed an intercontinental ballistic missile. Two months later they launched Sputnik, the first satellite, into space and then sent a dog into orbit.
June 28, 2011
SERIES Cupcake Wars: In this new episode bakers prepare space-themed cupcakes to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American in space — Alan Shepard on May 5, 1961 — and the episode concludes with the winner of the competition serving their creations at a celebration at Griffith Observatory (8 p.m. Food). The Voice: The four remaining contestants perform in this new episode (9 p.m. NBC). Frontline: In this new episode, A.C. Thompson investigates cases where people may have been wrongly convicted based on flawed medical evident.
October 10, 1993 | from Associated Press
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration came into being on Oct. 1, 1958, a year after the Soviet Union launched the world's first satellite, Sputnik, whose beep-beep-beep alarmed and embarrassed America. Congress gave the new space effort $331 million for the first year of operation. The spending has been on an upward slope most years since, rising significantly as each new manned space program was "ramping up."
August 21, 1998
In Cliff Rothman's insightful article about the descendants of primates involved in the U.S. space program, he quotes a source who states that Ham the chimpanzee was "the first being in space" ("Giving Chimps Their Space," Aug. 6). Ham was not the first living being in space. That honor went to a small Soviet dog named Laika, which means "barker" in Russian. Laika was launched into orbit aboard Sputnik 2 on Nov. 3, 1957. Sadly, the Russians had no way to bring him back, and he died in orbit about a week later.
September 8, 1998
Mary McNamara's tender tribute to Buffalo Bob, Roy Rogers and Shari Lewis ("Say, Kids, What Time Is It?" Life & Style, Aug. 12) tugged at my heart. How privileged those of us are who grew up with these three as part of our childhood and young adulthood landscape. The memories will never leave: Our family walking across Eastern Avenue to the (rich) neighbor's house on the hill overlooking City Terrace, to watch "Howdy Doody" on one of the first TV sets, in a front room crowded with so many chairs that it reminded us of a movie theater.
January 18, 1988 | United Press International
Ending 20 years of speculation of a cover-up, the Communist Party daily newspaper Pravda today admitted that faulty information on cloud cover from a control tower and unexpected air turbulence from another jet fighter were to blame for the plane crash that killed the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, almost 20 years ago. Gagarin, whose ashes are buried in the Kremlin wall, became an international hero after his April 12, 1961, space flight of 108 minutes--the first by man.
June 28, 2001 | From Associated Press
John Finley Yardley, who helped design the craft that put the first American into space and later managed the space shuttle program, has died. He was 76. The retired McDonnell Douglas Corp. executive died Tuesday of complications from cancer at his home near St. Louis. "He was one of the real pioneers of the space program. No one was more dedicated," said John Glenn, the former astronaut and retired U.S. senator from Ohio.
February 7, 2003
John Balzar (Commentary, Feb. 5) is dead on target in his criticism of the over-the-top coverage of the shuttle explosion. Such blubbery sentimentalism trivializes the tragedy. Particularly absurd were the headlines proclaiming that President Bush "leads the nation" in mourning. I know U.S. citizens are finding it increasingly difficult do any thinking for themselves, but do they really need a mourner-in-chief? Dan Hagen Charleston, Ill. If news coverage of the shuttle tragedy was an example of media hype, Balzar's commentary seems an example of extreme understatement.
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