60 YEARS SINCE 1ST AMERICAN IN SPACE: TOURISTS LINING UP
AppleMagazine|AppleMagazine #497
Sixty years after Alan Shepard became the first American in space, everyday people are on the verge of following in his cosmic footsteps.

JeffBezos’ Blue Origin company used Wednesday’s anniversary to announce an auction for a seat on the company’s first crew spaceflight, launched by a rocket named New Shepard. The Texas liftoff is targeted for July 20 — the date of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic aims to kick off tourist flights next year, just as soon as he straps into his space-skimming, plane launched rocketship for a test run from the New Mexico base.

And Elon Musk’s SpaceX will launch a billionaire and his sweepstakes winners in September. That will be followed by a flight by three businessmen to the International Space Station in January.

“We’ve always enjoyed this incredible thing called space, but we always want more people to be able to experience it as well,” NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough said from the space station Wednesday. “So I think this is a great step in the right direction.”

It’s all rooted in Shepard’s 15-minute flight on May 5, 1961.

Shepard was actually the second person in space — the Soviet Union launched cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin three weeks earlier, to Shepard’s everlasting dismay.

The 37-year-old Mercury astronaut and Navy test pilot cut a slick sci-fifigure in his silver spacesuit as he stood in the predawn darkness at Cape Canaveral, looking up at his Redstone rocket. Impatient with all the delays, including another hold in the countdown just minutes before launch, he famously growled into his mic: “Why don’t you fix your little problem and light this candle?”

His capsule, Freedom 7, soared to an altitude of 116 miles (186 kilometers) before parachuting into the Atlantic.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM APPLEMAGAZINEView All

NASA HOPES NEW ZEALAND LAUNCH WILL PAVE WAY FOR MOON LANDING

NASA wants to experiment with a new orbit around the moon that it hopes to use in the coming years to once again land astronauts on the lunar surface.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557

SIEMENS INVESTING IN VOLKSWAGEN'S ELECTRIFY AMERICA

The German industrial company Siemens will invest more than $100 million in a network of electric vehicle charging stations in North America operated by Volkswagen.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557

THE WORST HIDDEN TRAVEL FEES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

With travel prices soaring, customers might be tempted to pick the cheapest base option they find.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557

WIND FARM, ENVIRONMENTALISTS AGREE ON WAYS TO PROTECT WHALES

The developers of an offshore wind farm and three environmental organizations announced this week that they have reached an agreement to further protect rare North Atlantic right whales during the construction and operation of the energy-generating project.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557

RHODE ISLAND SETS AMBITIOUS TARGET FOR 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY

Rhode Island's governor is signing legislation setting the most ambitious target in the nation to require the state to be powered completely by renewable energy.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557

NASA ASTEROID MISSION ON HOLD DUE TO LATE SOFTWARE DELIVERY

NASA put an asteroid mission on hold, blaming the late delivery of its own navigation software.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557

MacOS Ventura

Refining the world's best desktop operating system

5 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557

AUDI E-TRON GT VS. MERCEDESBENZ EOS

The electric vehicle market is rapidly changing.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557

CHINA ENVOY SAYS AUSTRALIA FIRED FIRST SHOT WITH HUAWEI BAN

Australia had fired the "first shot" in its deteriorating relations with China four years ago when the then-government banned Chinese-owned telecommunications giant Huawei from rolling out the country's 5G network due to security concerns, a Chinese ambassador said.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557

AMAZON'S ALEXA COULD SOON MIMIC VOICE OF DEAD RELATIVES

Amazon's Alexa might soon replicate the voice of family members - even if they're dead.

1 min read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #557
RELATED STORIES

What Sounds You Can Hear on Mars

FOR DECADES, SCIENTISTS HAVE THEORIZED what the surface of Mars might sound like.

2 mins read
Popular Mechanics US
July - August 2022

NASA FINALLY TARGETS UFOS!

Astronauts have reported unexplainable objects

1 min read
Globe US
June 20, 2022

BOEING CAPSULE LANDS BACK ON EARTH AFTER SPACE SHAKEDOWN

Boeing’s crew taxi returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Wednesday, completing a repeat test flight before NASA astronauts climb aboard.

2 mins read
Techlife News
May 28, 2022

DUSTY DEMISE FOR NASA MARS LANDER IN JULY; POWER DWINDLING

A NASA spacecraft on Mars is headed for a dusty demise.

2 mins read
Techlife News
May 21, 2022

What Elon Wants...

The world's richest man spent $44 billion on Twitter but says he doesn't "care about the economics at all"

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 02, 2022

Can a Retired Rocket Engine Take Us to Mars?

The space shuttle's main engine was mothballed with the program in 2011. Now NASA believes it's the future of interplanetary travel.

9 mins read
Popular Mechanics
May - June 2022

Private Space Stations Are Coming (and Soon)

Since construction began in 1998, The International Space Station (ISS) has served as the essential platform where multiple countries have collaborated to support scientific research and other activities requiring the unique attributes of humans in space.

2 mins read
Innovation & Tech Today
Winter 2021

A Brief History of Fisher Space Pen

The ballpoint used by astronauts is also a fashion icon meant for everyday use. This is the story of how it came to be.

6 mins read
PEN WORLD
December 2021

Guy Bluford Has Flown Cessnas, U-2 Spy Planes and the Challenger Space Shuttle

Here's what he's learned..

6 mins read
Popular Mechanics South Africa
March/April 2022

MUSK HELPING RESTORE TONGAN INTERNET; VIRUS OUTBREAK GROWING

Entrepreneur Elon Musk is helping reconnect Tonga to the internet after a volcanic eruption and tsunami cut off the South Pacific nation more than three weeks ago, according to officials, while repairs on an undersea cable are proving more difficult than first thought.

4 mins read
Techlife News
February 12, 2022