Space Exploration

Freedom 7

The Historic Flight of Alan B. Shepard, Jr.

Authors: Burgess, Colin

  • Tells the almost forgotten story of the first manned U. S. spaceflight, Freedom 7, flown by Cdr. Alan Shepard, Jr., for NASA and the United States
  • Based on exclusive interviews with Shepard and several of the surviving leading players in the program
  • Examines the Mercury program and Shepard's flight in the context of the space race with the former USSR
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-01156-1
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $34.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-01155-4
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About this book

Inevitably, there are times in a nation’s history when its hopes, fears and confidence in its own destiny appear to hinge on the fate of a single person. One of these pivotal moments occurred on the early morning of May 5, 1961, when a 37-year-old test pilot squeezed himself into the confines of the tiny Mercury spacecraft that he had named Freedom 7. On that historic day, U.S. Navy Commander Alan Shepard carried with him the hopes, prayers, and anxieties of a nation as his Redstone rocket blasted free of the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, hurling him upwards on a 15-minute suborbital flight that also propelled the United States into the bold new frontier of human space exploration.

This book tells the enthralling story of that pioeering flight as recalled by many of the participants in the Freedom 7 story, including Shepard himself, with anecdotal details and tales never before revealed in print.

Although beaten into space just three weeks earlier by the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Alan Shepard’s history-making mission aboard Freedom 7 nevertheless provided America’s first tentative step into space that would one day see its Apollo astronauts – including Alan Shepard – walk on the Moon.

About the authors

Colin Burgess’s first book, “The Diggers of Colditz” was published simultaneously in the U.K. and Australia in 1985.  His next few books were on the Australian prisoner-of–war experience and then he turned his efforts to writing about his principal interest: human space exploration. Burgess has written a number of books on the subject for the University of Nebraska Press and Springer-Praxis.  The books he has written or co-authored for Springer-Praxis are “NASA’s Scientist-Astronauts,” “Animals in Space,” “The First Soviet Cosmonaut Team,” and “Selecting the Mercury Seven.”  Recently finished the copyediting/typesetting process is his latest book for Springer-Praxis, “Moon Bound: Choosing and Preparing NASA’s Lunar Astronauts.”  In the interim he has also worked as series editor and sometimes author for the Outward Odyssey set of 12 books on the social history of space exploration for the University of Nebraska Press.

Reviews

From the reviews:

“The book contains many fascinating photographs and several appendixes, including Shepard’s postflight report, transcripts of voice communications, and more. While this volume will interest space flight enthusiasts, it covers little ground that has not been extensively considered by other works. … Summing Up: Recommended. General readers; comprehensive undergraduate space history collections.” (J. Z. Kiss, Choice, Vol. 51 (9), May, 2014)

Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • History and development of the Mercury-Redstone program

    Burgess, Colin

    Pages 1-28

  • The Mercury flight of chimpanzee Ham

    Burgess, Colin

    Pages 29-64

  • NASA’s first space pilot

    Burgess, Colin

    Pages 65-101

  • Countdown to launch

    Burgess, Colin

    Pages 103-138

  • Fifteen minutes that stopped a nation

    Burgess, Colin

    Pages 139-158

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-01156-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $34.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-01155-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Freedom 7
Book Subtitle
The Historic Flight of Alan B. Shepard, Jr.
Authors
Series Title
Space Exploration
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-01156-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-01156-1
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-01155-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXVII, 266
Number of Illustrations and Tables
190 b/w illustrations
Topics