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Apollo's Moon Shot:

Mercury 3's Heart Racing Ascent Into Outer Space

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»Rocket Fever

Mercury 3's Heart Racing Ascent Into Outer Space

Short | 03:08

Mercury 3 has just taken off, raising astronaut Alan Shepard?s heart rate to 126 beats a minute. The rocket will soon escape the gravitational pull of Earth, giving Shepard a stunning view of the planet.


More About This episode

It began with the Soviet satellite Sputnik beeping over America's skies in 1957 and entered overdrive with President Kennedy's challenge in 1961 to reach the moon by the end of the decade. The early days of the Space Race were full of urgency, uncertainty, huge risks, and even bigger rewards. Witness NASA's first team of astronauts endure a crash course in space travel, presented through rare archival footage, interviews, and objects on display and in the vaults of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

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