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Alan Shepard speaks before an audience at Bryan Adams High School on April 27, 1995.

In 1961 American astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space when he piloted the Freedom 7 space capsule to an altitude of 185 km (115 mi) during a 15-minute flight. As commander of the Apollo 14 moon mission in 1971, Shepard also became the fifth astronaut to reach the moon. During the Apollo 14 voyage, Shepard spent a record 33.5 hours on the surface of the moon while performing geological experiments.