Alan Shepard


Alan Shepard : biography

November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998

Also in 1963, he was designated Chief of the Astronaut Office with responsibility for monitoring the coordination, scheduling, and control of all activities involving NASA astronauts. This included monitoring the development and implementation of effective training programs to assure the flight readiness of personnel for crew assignments on manned space flights; furnishing pilot evaluations applicable to the design, construction, and operations of spacecraft systems and related equipment; and providing qualitative scientific and engineering observations to facilitate overall mission planning, formulation of feasible operational procedures, and selection and conduct of specific experiments for each flight.

Apollo: Apollo 14 commander

He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 11, 1990.

In Hampton, Virginia, a road is named Commander Shepard Boulevard in his honor.

The Navy named a supply ship, USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE-3), for him in 2006. A geodesic dome was built in his honor in Virginia Beach, Virginia but was demolished in 1994.

A Redstone missile, from which the Redstone booster used to launch Shepard aboard Freedom 7 was derived, is on display in the Warren, New Hampshire town square.

The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, New Hampshire is named after Shepard and Christa McAuliffe.

Interstate 93 in New Hampshire, from the Massachusetts border to its intersection with the F.E. Everett Turnpike (which is also the northern terminus of Interstate 293) in Hooksett, is named in his honor. It passes through his native Derry (however with no junctions) for a short distance before entering Londonderry to the north and Windham to the south. Additionally, Interstate 565 in northern Alabama connecting Decatur, Alabama and Huntsville is officially the Admiral Alan B. Shepard Highway.

His hometown of Derry has the nickname Space Town in honor of his career as an astronaut. Following an act of Congress, the Post Office in Derry is designated the Alan B. Shepard, Jr. Post Office Building.

His high school alma mater in Derry, Pinkerton Academy, has a building named after him; and the school team name is the Astros after his career as an astronaut. Alan B. Shepard High School, in Palos Heights, Illinois, which opened in 1976, was named in his honor. Framed newspapers throughout the school depict various accomplishments and milestones in Shepard’s life. Additionally, an autographed plaque commemorates the dedication of the building. The school newspaper is named Freedom 7 and the yearbook is entitled Odyssey. Its television news show is called NASA – News About Shepard Astros.

Other schools that honor his memory include Alan B. Shepard Middle School, Deerfield, Illinois; Alan B. Shepard Middle School, San Antonio, Texas; Alan B. Shepard Elementary School, Bourbonnais, Illinois, Alan B. Shepard Elementary School, Old Bridge, New Jersey, and formerly, Alan B. Shepard Elementary School in Highland Park, Illinois (closed).

Alan Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida, a beach-side park south of Cape Canaveral, is named in his honor.

In a 2010 Space Foundation survey, Shepard was ranked as the ninth most popular space hero (tied with astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Gus Grissom).

In 2011, NASA honored Shepard with an Ambassador of Exploration Award, consisting of a moon rock encased in Lucite, for his contributions to the U.S. space program. His family members accepted the award on his behalf during a ceremony on April 28 at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum in Annapolis, Maryland, where it is on permanent display.NASA news release, April 19, 2011

On May 4, 2011, the U.S. Postal Service issued a first-class stamp in Shepard’s honor, the first U.S. stamp to depict a specific astronaut. The first day of issue ceremony was held at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.Pearlman, Robert Z., "New U.S. Stamps Honor Astronaut Alan Shepard and Mission to Mercury" (May 4, 2011)

Shepard Technology Award

Each year, the Space Foundation, in partnership with the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and NASA, present the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award for outstanding contributions by K–12 educators or district-level administrators to educational technology. The award recognizes excellence in the development and application of technology in the classroom or to the professional development of teachers. The recipient demonstrates exemplary use of technology either to foster lifelong learners or to make the learning process easier. Recipients include:

  • 2001 Lori Byrnes
  • 2002 Thomas F. Hunt, Frank E. Waller
  • 2003 Brian Copes
  • 2004 Charles Geach
  • 2005 Ronald F. Dantowitz
  • 2006 Kathy R. Brandon
  • 2007 Luther W. Richardson
  • 2008 Kevin L. Simmons
  • 2009 Ricardo V. Soria
  • 2010 Allen V. Robnett

In media

  • 1965 – The character of Alan Tracy in the Thunderbirds was named after him.
  • 1983 film The Right Stuff – played by Scott Glenn
  • 1998 HBO TV series From the Earth to the Moon – played by Ted Levine
  • 2005 BBC TV series Space Race – played by Todd Boyce
  • 2001 opening montage, Star Trek: Enterprise
  • 2002 film Race to Space, played by Mark Moses
  • 2004 – He is briefly mentioned in Metal Gear Solid 3 when he is said to be piloting a Lockheed M-21 in game.
  • 2007 – The player character in BioWare’s sci-fi video game series Mass Effect is surnamed "Shepard" in his honor.
  • 2011 – Alternative music band They Might Be Giants briefly referred to him in the song ″Can’t Keep Johnny Down″ from their album Join Us, in the following lyric: "Some dude/Hitting golf balls on the moon/Bathroom in his pants/And he thinks he’s better than me…"


  • Moon Shot (with Deke Slayton, Jay Barbree, and Howard Benedict) (1994)