FACT CHECK: NASA Claimed Alan Shepherd Piloted First Crewed Flight To Space

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on social media by NASA purports U.S. astronaut Alan Shepherd piloted the first crewed flight to space.

Twitter/Archived Screenshot

Twitter/Archived Screenshot

Verdict: False

The claim is inaccurate. Yuri Gagarin was.

Fact Check:

NASA is preparing for a Monday night launch by Boeing from Florida, NBC News reported. This is Boeing’s first crewed launch and will send veteran astronauts to the International Space Station.

NASA shared a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, claiming Alan Shepherd flew the first crewed flight to space. The post shared an image of Mercury-Redstone 3.

The post reads, “63 years ago, Alan Shepherd made history when he launched to space as the pilot of the Mercury-Redstone 3 mission. This marked the first ever crewed flight to space. Today, we are just a day away from NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) launching to the @Space_Station. This mission will be Boeing’s first crewed Starliner spacecraft mission.”

The claim is inaccurate. Alan Shepherd piloted the first American crewed mission to space, not the first overall crewed mission to space, according to Britannica. On May 5, 1961, Shepherd piloted a mission that lasted 15-minutes.

According to NASA’s own website,Yuri Gagarin from the Soviet Union was the first human ever in space.” He was the pilot of Vostok 1. (RELATED: Images Claiming To Show Evidence That Moon Landing Was Fake Are AI-Generated)

This is not the first time misinformation has been shared online. Check Your Fact debunked a claim the New York Post reported about a bill that bans questioning 9/11.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter