Science: Freedom's Flight

(See Cover)

For an endless, heart-stopping moment, the tall, slim rocket hung motionless —incredibly balanced above its incandescent tail. Slowly it climbed the sky, outracing the racket of its engine as it screamed toward space. In the returning silence, the amplified thump of an electronic timer beat like a pulse across the sands of Florida's Cape Canaveral. The pulse of the nation beat with it. For this was no routine rocket shoot. Riding that long, white missile as it soared aloft last week was Navy Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr., first U.S. astronaut...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!