Corvette celebrates Nasa links

SPACEMAN'S CORVETTE: Astronaut Alan Shepard with GM Styling President Bill Mitchell (left) and Chevrolet General Manager Ed Cole (right) with Shepard's Corvette.
SPACEMAN'S CORVETTE: Astronaut Alan Shepard with GM Styling President Bill Mitchell (left) and Chevrolet General Manager Ed Cole (right) with Shepard's Corvette.
REMEMBERING DAD: Laura Shepard Churchkey, daughter of US pioneer astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to travel into outer space, leads the parade commemorating the 50th anniversary of Shepard's historic flight in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
REMEMBERING DAD: Laura Shepard Churchkey, daughter of US pioneer astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to travel into outer space, leads the parade commemorating the 50th anniversary of Shepard's historic flight in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
ON PARADE: Astronaut Scott Carpenter waves to well-wishers during a parade commemorating the historic flight of fellow astronaut and space pioneer Alan Shepard, the first American to travel into outer space 50 years ago in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Shepard brought along his 1957 Corvette when he reported for Space Program training in April 1959, and would own at least 10 Corvettes in his lifetime.
ON PARADE: Astronaut Scott Carpenter waves to well-wishers during a parade commemorating the historic flight of fellow astronaut and space pioneer Alan Shepard, the first American to travel into outer space 50 years ago in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Shepard brought along his 1957 Corvette when he reported for Space Program training in April 1959, and would own at least 10 Corvettes in his lifetime.
FRONT PAGE NEWS: Lloyce Campbell of Florida holds a laminated front page of the Orlando Evening Star which was autographed by US space pioneer astronaut Alan Shepard, while standing in front of a '61 Corvette at the start of the parade commemorating Shepard's historic flight 50 years ago in Cocoa Beach.
FRONT PAGE NEWS: Lloyce Campbell of Florida holds a laminated front page of the Orlando Evening Star which was autographed by US space pioneer astronaut Alan Shepard, while standing in front of a '61 Corvette at the start of the parade commemorating Shepard's historic flight 50 years ago in Cocoa Beach.
SIGN HERE: Astronaut Sam Durrance autographs the engine block of 2006 Corvette owner Jack Legere, of Titusville, Florida after a parade commemorating the historic flight of Alan Shepard, the first American to travel into outer space in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
SIGN HERE: Astronaut Sam Durrance autographs the engine block of 2006 Corvette owner Jack Legere, of Titusville, Florida after a parade commemorating the historic flight of Alan Shepard, the first American to travel into outer space in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

The Chevrolet Corvette has been the unofficial car of astronauts since May 5, 1961, when Alan Shepard leaped from his Mercury spacecraft into the two-seater after becoming the first non-Soviet to travel into space.

Shepard's Corvette was originally a one-off, but Chevrolet dealer Jim Rathmann convinced GM to offer a special lease agreement which saw six Mercury astronauts taking up the Corvette offer.

To celebrate the Corvette's 50-year history with astronauts, Chevrolet sent a Corvette from each generation to a parade at Cocoa Beach close to the Mercury launch sites in Florida.

The Press