Up to Date
9:01 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

50 Years Of Manned Space Flight

50 years ago, Alan Shepard became the first American in space, making a brief suborbital mission that marked the first manned launch of Project Mercury.

Thursday on Up to Date, in a broadcast originally aired on May 5th (the 50th anniversary) Roger D. Launius, a senior curator at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, joins us to discuss NASA's pioneering Mercury program and the individuals who carried it out, America's first astronauts.

Launius sheds light on the origins of these first attempts by the United States to reach into space, the Cold War "space race" with the Soviet Union, and Project Mercury's meaning a half-century after it began.

Later on today's show....an all-new New Year's weekend to-do list with Brian McTavish.

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