In order to become one of the first American astronauts, Shepard had to meet an important requirement. He could not be taller than 71 inches. Anyone taller than 71 inches would not fit into the Mercury spacecraft that the first astronauts flew.
The StarChild site is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC.
The StarChild Team
StarChild Graphics & Music: Acknowledgments
StarChild Project Leader: Dr. Laura A. Whitlock
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman