50 years ago today saw the first USA spaceman. Alan Shepard was boosted out of this world atop a Redstone Rocket in the Mercury capsule. The mission code named Freedom 7 was also know as MR3 (Mercury-Redstone 3) despite the fact that it was actually the 5th Mercury-Redstone launch from the Cape, and the second ‘manned’ flight. The first being MR2 carrying the chimpanzee Ham.
Preparations had been underway at launch pad 5 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for the launch of America’s first man in space. The Redstone booster was built at the Marshal Space Flight facility and transported to site where it was erected prior to being enshrouded with the launch gantry.
Some time later the capsule built by the McDonnell corporation was delivered to the pad and winched into place on top of the Redstone Booster. The rocket went through countless test and inspections before finally being declared fit for flight.