Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. (November 18, 1923 — July 21, 1998) was an American naval aviator, test pilot, flag officer, NASA astronaut, and businessman, who in 1961 became the second person, and the first American, to travel into space. This Mercury flight was designed to enter space, but not to achieve orbit. Ten years later, at age 47 the oldest astronaut in the program, Shepard commanded the Apollo 14 mission, piloting the lander to the most accurate landing of the Apollo missions. He became the fifth person to walk on the Moon, and the only astronaut of the Mercury Seven to walk on the Moon. During the mission, he hit two golf balls on the lunar surface. Apollo 14 was the eighth manned mission in the United States Apollo program, and the third to land on the Moon. It was the last of the “H missions,” targeted landings with two-day stays on the Moon with two lunar EVAs, or moonwalks.
Commander Alan Shepard, Command Module Pilot Stuart Roosa, and Lunar Module Pilot Edgar Mitchell launched on their nine-day mission on January 31, 1971 at 4:04:02 pm local time after a 40 minute, 2 second delay due to launch site weather restrictions, the first such delay in the Apollo program. Shepard and Mitchell made their lunar landing on February 5 in the Fra Mauro formation; this had originally been the target of the aborted Apollo 13 mission. During the two lunar EVAs, 42 kilograms (93 lb) of Moon rocks were collected and several surface experiments, including seismic studies, were performed. Shepard famously hit two golf balls on the lunar surface with a makeshift club he had brought from Earth. Shepard and Mitchell spent about 33 hours on the Moon, with about 9½ hours on EVA.