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 www.navyonline.com.
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.
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