Cinema: Meanwhile, Back in Real Life. . .

Bright-eyed and bristly-haired, the seven original Mercury astronauts rocketed not only into space but into the collective imagination of America. Yet except for the highly visible John Glenn, most of the other real-life astronauts have gravitated into private orbits.

Alan Shepard, 59, the first American in space, emerged as a shrewd entrepreneur after leaving NASA in 1974. Based in Houston, he has developed extensive real estate projects and is a wholesale distributor for Coors beer in southern Texas. Remembered for hitting a golf ball on the moon as commander of Apollo 14 in 1971, he relishes playing in celebrity golf tournaments and,...

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