DETROIT – On May 5, 1961, Alan B. Shepard became the first American to travel into outer space. When he returned to terra firma, Shepard got behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Corvette – and the legends of America’s favorite sports car and spacemen have been intertwined ever since.
On May 7, 2011, approximately 30 of America’s surviving astronauts are expected to gather at Cocoa Beach, Fla., where they will participate in a parade commemorating the 50th anniversary of Shepard’s historic sub-orbital flight. Fittingly, they will be driven in Corvettes representing all six design generations built since the famed sports car’s 1953 debut.
“Each astronaut will ride in a Corvette from the generation current at the time of their mission,” parade coordinator John T. R. Dillon III said.