May 3, 2011
Two Events Commemorate 50th Anniversary of U.S. Human Spaceflight
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. manned spaceflight during two events this week around the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA Television will carry both events live.
On Wednesday, May 4, at 2 p.m. EDT, the U.S. Postal Service will unveil two new stamps at the Rocket Garden of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, located on State Road 405. Journalists interested in covering the event should contact Andrea Farmer at 321-449-4318 or Jillian McRae at 321-449-4273. Media need to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony.
One stamp commemorates NASA's Project Mercury and Alan Shepard's historic launch on May 5, 1961 aboard the spacecraft Freedom 7. The second stamp honors NASA's MESSENGER, which reached Mercury in March to become the first spacecraft to orbit the planet. The two missions frame a remarkable 50-year period in which America advanced space exploration through more than 1,500 manned and unmanned flights.
Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter and members of the Shepard family will join Bolden at the stamps' unveiling and at a 50th anniversary ceremony on Thursday, May 5, at 9 a.m., at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
To cover the event, news media representatives need to be at the Air Force Badging Office (Gate 1) at 6:30 a.m. for transportation to Complex 5/6. Mission badges for the STS-134 shuttle mission will be honored for this event. Reporters who do not have one must contact Christopher Calkins at 321-494-7732 or Auburn Davis at 321-494-6489 to arrange for media credentials.
The Thursday event includes a re-creation of Shepard's flight and recovery, as well as a tribute to his contributions as a moonwalker on the Apollo 14 lunar mission. KSC Director and former astronaut Bob Cabana and more than 200 workers from the original Mercury program, also will be in attendance.
For more information about Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visit: http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com
For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For a photo gallery of Shepard's flight and an interactive timeline of key NASA milestones, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/50th
For more information about the MESSENGER mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/messenger