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60 years since 1st American in space: Tourists lining up

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Sixty years after Alan Shepard became the first American in space, everyday people are on the verge of following in his cosmic footsteps. Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin company used Wednesday’s anniversary to kick off an auction for a seat on its first crew spaceflight in July. Elon Musk’s SpaceX will use its newly returned capsule to launch a billionaire in September, along with a pair of contest winners and a hospital worker. Shepard rocketed from Cape Canaveral on May 5, 1961. To date, 579 people have flown in space. That number is expected to soar with upcoming tourist flights.

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Associated Press

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