Fifty years ago today — December 19, 1960 — the first Mercury-Redstone capsule was sent into space.

(Mercury-Redstone-1A launch. NASA image.)

MR-1A was a suborbital flight from Cape Canaveral, designated “1A” because MR-1 had failed its launch attempt in November. This flight was intended to qualify the systems for eventual orbital flights, and it achieved all the mission objectives.

This particular launch — and especially the name of that launch vehicle — presents a good opportunity for a plug for Redstone Science Fiction, the new online magazine that published my story, “Memorial at Copernicus.” Shameless, I know … but I can live with that.

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