National Astronaut Day in the United States Date in the current year: May 5, 2024

National Astronaut Day in the United States National Astronaut Day is observed annually on May 5 to celebrate all the people who are brave enough to travel through space and reach for the stars. It commemorates the day when Alan Shepard became the first American to travel into space.

Born on November 18, 1923, Alan Shepard graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1944. He served in the surface navy during World War II, became a naval aviator in 1946, and a test pilot in 1950.

In August 1955, the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union began. The Soviet Union became the first country to launch an artificial Earth satellite in 1957, which led to President Dwight D. Eisenhower establishing NASA. In 1958, NASA announced its human spaceflight program entitled Project Mercury.

The first NASA astronauts were recruited from the ranks of test pilots. Shepard was one of the 35 most promising pilots selected for the Space Program. On April 9, 1959, he was announced as part of the Mercury Seven, a group of seven astronauts selected to be the first Americans in space.

Although the first crewed flight of Project Mercury was originally scheduled for April 26, 1960, it had to be postponed several times. As a result, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to journey into outer space on April 12, 1961, and Shepard became the second person (and the first American) on May 5, 1961.

During the flight, Shepard’s spacecraft Freedom 7 entered space, but did not achieve orbit. The suborbital flight lasted approximately 15 minutes, during which Shepard observed the Earth and tested some of his capsule’s systems, namely the altitude control system and the retrorockets.

National Astronaut Day was inaugurated in 2016 by uniphi space agency, a division of uniphi good LLC. uniphi space agency is a management agency that represents a diverse range of former astronauts, helping them share their stories thorough collaborations, book projects, and speaking engagements.

One of the goals of National Astronaut Day is to emphasize that astronauts come from a diverse range of backgrounds, both personal and professional, but have one thing in common. Despite their different and unique paths, they seek to share their stories, perspectives, knowledge and unique experience of traveling to space with a wide audience.

Astronauts have fulfilled the dream that many people have at some point in their lives, and their experience demonstrates that almost anything is possible if you work hard enough for it. So another goal of National Astronaut Day is to inspire people to chase their dreams regardless of their background.

uniphi space agency organizes a range of free, family-friendly events, activities and performances to celebrate National Astronaut Day, many of which are virtual, so that people from all over the world can participate. You can also celebrate astronauts by organizing an event of your own, watching a documentary about space exploration, or reading a biography of an astronaut or a book written by an astronaut (An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield is a great choice).

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National Astronaut Day in the United States, professional holidays, Alan Shepard, holidays in the United States, Project Mercury