“Lieutenant, your incompetence has nothing to do with me.”
The Ice Commander tells it like it is.
Alan Shepard was a self-admitted sonofabitch who was Navy all the way. He had a slight reputation as being moody and steely-eyed – a bit authoritarian (not shocking, as this guy was one heck of a carrier fighter pilot). In his office at NASA he had a sign on the door with a smiley face on one side, and a frowny face on the other side. If you walked in when the sign was all frowny you were in for trouble. That being said, the “Ice Commander” could do whatever he wanted. He was the first American in space and he walked on the freakin’ moon. Enough said.
- MR-3 (Mercury Freedom 7 mission) – May 5, 1961 (completed approximately 15 minutes in space during a sub-orbital flight)
- Apollo 14 – January 31 to February 5, 1971 (walked and even golfed on the Moon)
Emily Carney is a writer, space enthusiast, and creator of the This Space Available space blog, published since 2010. In January 2019, Emily’s This Space Available blog was incorporated into the National Space Society’s blog. The content of Emily’s blog can be accessed via the This Space Available blog category.
Note: The views expressed in This Space Available are those of the author and should not be considered as representing the positions or views of the National Space Society.