|Apollo 7 : the NASA mission reports
|Robert Godwin, Editor
|Burlington, Ont. : Apogee books, 2000
|The NASA mission reports
|ISBN / ISSN / EAN :
|Apollo 7 program ; Project Apollo (U.S.)
October 1968 and the United States manned space program was about to be reborn. An entirely new space vehicle awaited its pilots at Pad 34.
After 21 months the three-man Apollo space capsule had undergone a transformation. Over 1300 modifications had been made to the spacecraft following the tragic fire which had claimed the lives of the Apollo 1 crew.
Now the three men who had lost their friends on that ill-fated mission were faced with the task of flying an all-new space vehicle. It was to be the first manned flight of America's lunar spacecraft and it was to be the first manned launch of Wernher von Braun's giant IB rocket.
The prestigious task of commanding the first Apollo mission was given to Captain Walter M. Schirra, a veteran of America's Gemini and Mercury programs. Accompanying him were Command Module Pilot, Major Donn Eisele, and physicist-civilian, Walter Cunningham -both were taking their first ride into space.
Schirra, Eisele and Cunningham would be the first men to ride on a Saturn rocket and were then expected to fly the new spacecraft for the full length of a lunar mission. Every single onboard system would have to be tested and studied.
Apollo 7 would be the longest first flight of any spacecraft or aircraft in the history of aviation.
Incredibly, within nine months of this first manned Apollo mission, two Americans would fly the hardware to the Sea Of Tranquility.