Mercury-Redstone 3 is the name of the NASA mission that first sent an American astronaut, Alan Shepard, into space. Today, this tremendous accomplishment has been somewhat overshadowed by two other, more celebrated historical events. The first took place three weeks before Shepard’s suborbital flight: the Soviet Union launched Yuri Gagarin into space, beating the States to the punch. Then, just over eight months later, NASA launched John Glenn all the way into orbit aboard Mercury-Atlas 6. But the somewhat unheralded nature of the Mercury-Redstone 3 mission imbues it with a special quality for me. To imagine that first U.S. spaceflight is to think of the unadulterated thrill of exploration and an unfathomable exhilaration. What must it have felt like to be among the first to touch the sky? I hope to capture in this piece some of the sense of wonder and excitement that NASA, and the sheer audacity of human spaceflight, have brought me since I was young.
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
Receive the latest news
Join Our Mailing List!
Get notified about new events, opportunities and the latest ACO happenings