Though his sub-orbital flight only lasted 15 minutes, it was a historical moment in the Space Race against the Soviet Union.
However, a little known fact about this flight is what took place before it. Shepard sat in the rocket for five hours because of delays, and the astronaut really had to use the restroom.
"Man, I got to pee, " Shepard said to launch control.
That really wasn't an option for Shepard, who was already strapped in tight and ready for launch. And NASA wasn't prepared either because officials figured the mission would be short enough to avoid a scenario like this. Shepard, who donned a shiny silver spacesuit and was covered in wired medical sensors, couldn't just pee on himself.
However, NASA didn't have a choice — Shepard, who had been in the spacecraft for a total of eight hours, really had to go.
So, on that first flight to space, Shepard went into orbit wearing a wet spacesuit.
Mercury-Redstone rocket that transported Alan Shepard into space being launched on May 5, 1961.
Image: AP Photo/Associated Press
Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., the first American to journey into space, peers into his Freedom 7 space capsule after it is recovered from the Atlantic Ocean and taken aboard the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain, May 5, 1961. The Freedom 7 (MR-7) spacecraft was launched by a Redstone vehicle at 9:34 a.m. EST. Shepard's flight, return from space, the splashdown at sea and recovery were seen on television by millions of viewers around the world.What does penelope mean? How to budget tips? What does blimey mean? What is tips infant slp? What does rdw mean in a blood test? How to get galarian slowpoke? What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning? What is the meaning of omnichannel? Tips how to cut costs on prescription drug cost? How to evolve pokemon in pokemon go tricks? What is the meaning of the name eden? What is the meaning of the schwarzschild radius around a black hole? Tips on how to get the guys? 201 tips on how to build your own business? How to pronounce caulk? 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