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Walter Cunningham

Walter Cunningham

Born on: 16 Mar 1932
Join NASA in: 17 Oct 1963
Current status: Retired 1 Aug 1971
Spaceflight Position Date
Apollo 7 LMP 11.10. - 22.10.1968
 
Spaceflight experience:
Walter Cunningham was one of the third group of astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963.

On October 11, 1968, he occupied the lunar module pilot seat for the eleven-day flight of Apollo 7--the first manned flight test of the third generation United States spacecraft. With Walter M. Schirra, Jr., and Donn F. Eisele, Cunningham participated in and executed maneuvers enabling the crew to perform exercises in transposition and docking and lunar orbit rendezvous with the S-IVB stage of their Saturn IB launch vehicle; completed eight successful test and maneuvering ignitions of the service module propulsion engine; measured the accuracy of performance of all spacecraft systems; and provided the first live television transmission of onboard crew activities. The 263-hour, four-and-a-half million mile shakedown flight was successfully concluded on October 22, 1968, with splashdown occurring in the Atlantic--some eight miles from the carrier ESSEX (only 3/10 of a mile from the originally predicted aiming point).

Walter Cunningham's last assignment at the Johnson Space Center was Chief of the Skylab Branch of the Flight Crew Directorate. In this capacity he was responsible for the operational inputs for five major pieces of manned space hardware, two different launch vehicles and 56 major on-board experiments that comprised the Skylab program. The Skylab program also utilized the first manned systems employing arrays for electrical power, molecular sieves for environmental control systems and inertia storage devices for attitude control systems.

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