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Born Nov. 18, 1923, in East Derry, N.H. American astronaut; rear admiral in the US Navy.
After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1944, Shepard took part in various military operations conducted by the United States in the Pacific. From 1950 to 1953 and from 1955 to 1957 he worked at the Navy Test Pilot School. In 1958 he graduated from the Naval War College; he also attended a school of civil aviation. In 1959 he became an astronaut with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
On May 5, 1961, Shepard became the first American to complete a manned suborbital flight of 15 minutes duration in the Mercury spacecraft (MR 3). From Feb. 1 to Feb. 10, 1971, Shepard, as commander of the Apollo 14 spacecraft, completed a lunar flight with E. Mitchell and S. Roosa. Shepard spent a total of 33 hr 30 min on the moon, including two moon walks, lasting about 9 hr. His time in space during the two flights totaled 216 hr 17 min. Shepard is now directing the training of American astronauts at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston. His hometown has been renamed Spacetown.