Chapter Twenty

Summer, 1961             The exact cause of the hatch failure that resulted in the sinking of the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft, and the near drowning of Gus Grissom, was never determined with total certainty, but it was theorized that either a stray lanyard from the spacecraft’s collapsed parachute had wrapped around the exterior release handle,… Continue reading Chapter Twenty

Chapter Fifteen

USS Lake Champlain, The Atlantic Ocean, May 5, 1961 10:00 AM      As the helicopter carrying Alan Shepard approached the recovery ship Lake Champlain, Shepard could that the flight deck was teeming with people, NASA personnel, ordinary sailors, camera crews from all three networks and the usual gaggle of journalists. As the helicopter drew to… Continue reading Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Fourteen

Mercury Control May 5, 1961, 8:55 AM      Chris Kraft couldn’t help but smile at Shepard’s enthusiasm, and he found himself agreeing with Shepard. Enough waiting, thought Kraft, let’s go. He got on the Flight Director’s loop. “All controllers give me a go/no go for launch.”             “Booster.”             “Go.”             “Surgeon.”             “Go.”            … Continue reading Chapter Fourteen