Famous Astronauts Part 2

In this article, you will learn about well-known astronauts, such as John Glenn, Alan Shepherd, Alan Bean, and the contribution of Story Musgrave.


When it comes to the third man to fly in space, this title goes to John Glenn, who became the first American to orbit the Earth. As a matter of fact, Glenn orbited the Earth a total of three times in a span of five hours when he was aboard Friendship 7 in 1962. Later, he would wear many different hats, including corporate bigwig, ordained Presbyterian elder, and politician. Glenn became a Democratic United States senator representing Ohio. He is also known as the oldest person ever to enter space, as he became a part of traveling into space aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1998.


Alan Shepherd


Shepherd is known as the second person in space and the first American to fly in orbit. In later years, he would become known as the commander of the Apollo 14 mission, and the fifth man to walk on the Moon. On May 5, 1961, Shepherd participated in a 15-minute sub-orbital flight over the Pacific Ocean that lasted for a little more than 300 miles. During an interview, Shepherd revealed that he only experienced a 30-second view out of Mercury 3’s window. Ten years later, as commander of Apollo 14 (between January 31st and February 9th, 1971), he got a chance to spend two days on the Moon. He would become one of only seven Mercury astronauts to have stepped foot on the Moon. In 1974, Shepherd retired from NASA, as well as from the Navy.


Alan Bean


Born March 15th, 1932, Alan Bean blossomed into a man who would complete numerous accomplishments in space. For starters, he was on Apollo 12, which led him to becoming the 4th man on the Moon. While there, he spent 30 hours (alongside Charles Conrad). With Conrad, they would earn the honors of technically discovering that life existed on the Moon. They brought back pieces of Surveyor III, and on one of the parts , scientists uncovered a colony of bacteria that set up shop within the foam insulation of a television camera.


On Beans’ last flight, he was aboard Skylab III and would command the second of three manned missions on Skylab, which is known as the first space station of America. Bean stayed from July 28th until September 25th, 1973, logging in more than 60 days. On June 26th, 1981, Bean resigned from NASA.


Story Musgrave


Story Musgrave might have been a high school dropout, but he would go on to earn a collection of degrees from the likes of Syracuse University, UCLA, Marietta College, Columbia University, and the Columbia University. Majoring in subjects like chemistry, math, statistics, and biophysics, Musgrave went on to become a NASA mission specialist on the shuttle mission STS-6 (between April 4th and 9th, 1983) and 51-F (between July 19th and August 6th, 1985). While working for NASA, Musgrave published more than 40 scientific papers.