Wally Schirra

Captain Schirra has logged a total of 295 hours in space. He is unique in that he is the only one to have flown Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. He received his B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1945, and then went on to the Safety Officers School (U.S.C.) and the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School (N.A.T.C.). In April 1959 he was one of the seven Mercury Astronauts named by NASA. On October 3, 1962 he piloted the six orbit Sigma 7 Mercury flight; a flight which lasted 9 hours 15 minutes. Schirra then served as back-up command pilot for the Gemini III Mission and, on December 15&endash;16, he occupied the Command Pilot seat on the history making Gemini 6 flight. The hi-light of this mission was a successful rendezvous of Gemini 6 with the already orbiting Gemini 7 spacecraft, thus, accomplishing the first rendezvous of two manned maneuverable spacecraft. He occupied the Command Pilot seat on Apollo 7, the first manned flight test of the three direction U.S. spacecraft. Schirra participated in, and executed, maneuvers enabling crew members to perform exercises in transposition and docking and orbit rendezvous with the S-IVB stage from the Saturn IB launch vehicle. He is the recipient of the U.S. Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He is currently a Director of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, a member of the Ocean Foundation Advisory Committee, a Trustee of Scripps Aquarium, and a Founder/Director of the Mercury Seven Foundation. Schirra is also the author of We Seven (1960) and Schirra's Space (1988).


Last update: 7 August 1998 Robert W. Schmieder, schmieder@cordell.org