Losing Victor • Earth.com

To add even more stress to Shepard’s journey, a Navy balloonist named Victor Prather (below) died one day before Freedom 7 took off when his pressure suit — identical to Shepard’s — filled with water and he drowned. Fortunately, Shepard didn’t suffer the same fate. Though he did face more sobering thoughts. Photo Credit: U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons | {{PD-USGov}}

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