Astronaut Alan Shepard who became the first America to travel into space was born on this day in 1923. Shepard was one of the original seven Mercury astronauts. He became the first American in space May 5,1961 when his Freedom 7 was launched. He spent only 15 minutes in space but he was the first America. He would be sidelined with an inner-ear disease that was corrected by surgery. He would command Apollo 14 at the age of 47 and become the only original seven astronaut to walk on the moon. The highlight of that trip was Shepard’s hitting two golf balls on the lunar surface. Freedom 7 and Apollo 14 were his only flights. Shepard died in 1998 at the age of 74.