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Happy National Astronaut Day! Watch Uniphi Events on Facebook Live

National Astronaut Day 2017 Patch
Official crew patch of National Astronaut Day 2017.
(Image: © uniphi space agency)

Friday (May 5) is National Astronaut Day, and you can celebrate by watching a lot of space-related events on Facebook Live.

A number of former NASA astronauts — including Leroy Chiao, Frank Culbertson, Clayton Anderson and Nicole Stott — will talk during a series of webcasts beginning at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT). You can watch them on the Facebook page of the Uniphi Space Agency, a talent agency for astronauts that's organizing today's events.

Today marks the second annual National Astronaut Day, which is held on May 5 to commemorate the historic flight of Alan Shepard. On May 5, 1961, Shepard became the first American to reach space, getting to a maximum altitude of 116 miles (187 kilometers) during a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard the Freedom 7 spacecraft. (Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human space traveler on April 12 of that year during the Vostok 1 orbital mission.)

You can learn more about National Astronaut Day, and how you can participate, at the celebration's official website.

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