On May 5, 1961 Alan B. Shepard was launched on a sub-orbital
flight that lasted a little over fifteen minutes. He was
Americas first man in space.
The Gemini Program was intended to be an intermediate step
between Mercury and Apollo. The Gemini spacecraft carried
two astronauts and it was the first spacecraft to use a
hydrogen fuel cell to generate electricity.
"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving
the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the
Moon and returning him safely to Earth."
President John F. Kennedy
May 25, 1961
Skylab, America's first space station, was launched on May
14, 1973. Successful in all respects, despite some early
mechanical difficulties, the station was occupied by three
crews for over 171 days. It was the site of nearly 300
scientific and technical experiments.