Wally SchirraWalter Schirra, Jr. (born March 12, 1923) was one of the original "Mercury 7" astronauts chosen for the Mercury program, America's first effort to put men in space. He was the only man to fly in America's first three space programs: Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.
On October 3, 1962, Schirra became the fifth American in space, piloting the Mercury 8 (Sigma 7) on a six-orbit mission lasting 9 hours, 13 minutes, and 11 seconds. The capsule attained a velocity of 17,557 miles per hour and an altitude of 175 statute miles.
On October 11, 1968, Schirra flew into space a final time as commander of Apollo 7, the first manned flight in the Apollo program after a fatal fire during tests of Apollo 1. The three-man crew, including Donn Eisele and Walter Cunningham, performed rendezvous exercises with the upper stage of the Saturn 1-B launch vehicle and provided the first television pictures from a U.S. spacecraft.