Forty-six years ago today, 5 May 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space aboard a Redstone rocket in the Freedom 7 capsule. He was 23 days behind Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. Shepard was one of 7 men picked for the Mercury Program from 500 applicants. Later, Shepard went to a place that Gagarin wished he could follow. In 1971 Shepard commanded Apollo 14 and walked on the Moon. Shepard died in 1998 at the age of 75.