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National Geographic Magazine Exploring Space
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Photo: Ready for Liftoff

Ready for Liftoff

Technicians shut the hatch of the Freedom 7 capsule that took Alan Shepard on the first U.S. manned mission to space. “Are you really ready?” a friend at the control center asked him privately. Shepard laughed and replied, “Go!”

Photograph by Robert Special, NASA
From Exploring Space: The Universe in Pictures, 2004


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