Astronaut and capsule were recovered by a helicopter within six minutes of landing. The flight demonstrated that a human can control a space vehicle during weightlessness, high gravity systems and suffer no adverse physiological effects.
Three days later at the White House, President Kennedy presented Shepard with NASA's Distinguished Service Medal.
Launch Date: May 5, 1961, 9:34 AM EST
Launch Vehicle: Mercury-Redstone.
Spacecraft unofficially named "Freedom 7'
Crew: Alan B. Shepard, Jr.