Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wally Schirra, Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronaut, born 1923

Walter Marty (Wally) Schirra, Jr., born March 12, 1923, was the only person to fly
in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs.  October 23, 1962, Schirra flew on Mercury-Atlas 8, orbiting Earth six times in a little over nine hours.

His second trip was commanding Gemini 6A with Tom Stafford, December 15, 1965 when they rendezvoused with Frank Borman and James Lovell aboard Gemini 7.

Schirra became the first person to go to space three times on Apollo 7, launched October 11, 1968.  He commanded the mission with Donn F. Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham.  They replaced the original crew of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee who perished in a fire during a ground test  in the Apollo 1 capsule.

He retired from NASA after this mission.  He joined Walter Cronkite as a consultant on seven Apollo missions.

Wally Schirra passed away May 3, 2007 from a heart attack he suffered during surgery for abdominal cancer.

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