JFK Library to Display Shepard's Space Capsule

Exhibit to mark 50th anniversary of JFK's speech on manned space program

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Alan Shepard in the Freedom 7 capsule.

    The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is opening an exhibit of the first U.S. manned space capsule.

    Freedom 7, going on display Wednesday, was piloted by Alan Shepard. The New Hampshire native made a 15-minute suborbital flight in 1961.

    The capsule weighs 2,422 pounds and is about 6 feet in diameter and 9 feet, 5 inches tall. It's on loan from the Smithsonian Institution.

    Three students from Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., where Shepard went to school, will be on hand for the opening. They're bringing a banner of their school mascot, the Astros.

    Shepard commanded the 1971 Apollo 14 mission. He hit a golf ball on the moon.

    Shepard died in 1998 at age 74.

    The exhibit marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's speech on America's manned space program at Rice University in Houston.