December 11, 2023
Annapolis, US 40 F

NASA Space Capsule Leaving USNA

English: Alan Shepard in capsule aboard Freedo...

NASA spacecraft, “Freedom 7,” will be leaving the Naval Academy at the end of February, bound for the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library in Columbia Point, Boston, Mass.

The space capsule first arrived at the Naval Academy on Dec. 15, 1998.  Since then, it has been on display to the public in the Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center.  The Visitor Center is open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., January through February; and 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., March through December. For information on public tours of the Naval Academy, call 410-293-8687 or visit

Mercury-Redstone 3 was the first manned space mission of the United States.   Astronaut Rear Adm. Alan Shepard, a Naval Academy graduate of the Class of 1945, piloted a 15-minute Project Mercury suborbital flight of the Freedom 7 spacecraft on May 5, 1961, to become the first American in space.

The Naval Academy has produced 52 astronauts – more than any other college or university in the nation.

For more information about the Naval Academy, visit or the Naval Academy’s Facebook page at

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