kids encyclopedia robot

Wally Schirra facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Walter M. Schirra Jr.
Schirra walter 3.jpg
Walter Marty Schirra Jr.

(1923-03-12)March 12, 1923
Died May 3, 2007(2007-05-03) (aged 84)
Nationality United States
Other names Wally Schirra
Alma mater Newark College of Engineering
USNA, B.S. 1945
Occupation Naval aviator, test pilot
  • Navy Distinguished Service Medal
  • Distinguished Flying Cross (3)
  • Air Medal (3)
  • NASA Distinguished Service Medal (3)
  • NASA Exceptional Service Medal
Space career
NASA Astronaut
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Captain, USN
Time in space
12d 7h 12m
Selection 1959 NASA Group 1
Missions Mercury-Atlas 8
Gemini 6A
Apollo 7
Mission insignia
Mercury-8-patch.png Gemini 6A patch.png AP7lucky7.png
Retirement July 1, 1969

Walter Marty Schirra Jr. ( March 12, 1923 – May 3, 2007) was an American naval aviator, test pilot, and NASA astronaut. In 1959, he became one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, which was the United States' first effort to put human beings into space. On October 3, 1962, he flew the six-orbit, nine-hour, Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, in a spacecraft he nicknamed Sigma 7. At the time of his mission in Sigma 7, Schirra became the fifth American and ninth human to travel into space. In the two-man Gemini program, he achieved the first space rendezvous, station-keeping his Gemini 6A spacecraft within 1 foot (30 cm) of the sister Gemini 7 spacecraft in December 1965. In October 1968, he commanded Apollo 7, an 11-day low Earth orbit shakedown test of the three-man Apollo Command/Service Module and the first crewed launch for the Apollo program.

He was the first astronaut to go into space three times, and the only astronaut to have flown in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. In total, Schirra logged 295 hours and 15 minutes in space. After Apollo 7, he retired as a captain from the U.S. Navy as well as from NASA, subsequently becoming a consultant to CBS News in the network's coverage of following Apollo flights. Schirra joined Walter Cronkite as co-anchor for all seven of NASA's Moon landing missions.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Wally Schirra Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.