Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Space Exploration
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  • Historical Summary
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  • NHHC

Apollo 7 Mission 

Apollo 7 launched on 11 October 1966, the first U.S. three-man space mission, commanded by Captain Walter M. Schirra Jr., USN. Major Ronnie Walter Cunningham (USMCR) served as lunar module pilot. The mission lasted 10 days and 20 hours. Within that period, the Apollo Command and Service Module systems were thoroughly tested. The mission was also the first live television broadcast from space. Recovery was by HS-5 helicopters from USS Essex (CVS-9).

For more information, visit NASA’s Apollo Missions webpage.


The Apollo 7 Prime Crew

The Apollo 7 prime crew, from left to right, are astronauts Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot; Walter M. Schirra Jr., commander; and Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot. (Image Credit: NASA)



The Apollo 7 Crew Aboard the USS Essex

In this image, the Apollo 7 crew pauses in the doorway of the recovery helicopter after arriving aboard USS Essex, the prime recovery ship for the mission. Left to right, are Commander Walter Schirra, command module pilot Donn Eisele, and lunar module pilot Walter Cunningham. To their right is Dr. Donald E. Stullken, NASA Recovery Team Leader from the Manned Spacecraft Center's Landing and Recovery Division. (Image Credit: NASA)



Morning Sun Seen from Apollo 7 Spacecraft

The morning sun reflects on the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean as seen from the Apollo 7 spacecraft during its 134th revolution of the Earth on 20 October 1968. (Image Credit: NASA)



U.S. Navy frogmen Attach Flotation Collar to Apollo 7 Command Module

U.S. Navy frogmen attach a flotation collar to the Apollo 7 command module during recovery operations in the Atlantic. The Apollo 7 spacecraft splashed down at 7:11 a.m. on 22 October 1968, approximately 200 nautical miles south-southwest of Bermuda. (NASA ID: S68-49539)  



<p>Apollo 7 Recovery Mission</p>

Astronaut Walter M. Schirra Jr., Apollo 7 commander, egresses the spacecraft during recovery operations in the Atlantic. He is assisted by a member of the U.S. Navy frogman team. The Apollo 7 spacecraft splashed down at 7:11 a.m., 22 October 1968, approximately 200 nautical miles south-southwest of Bermuda. (NASA ID: S68-49529)



<p><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif; font-size: 11pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">Apollo 7 crew arrives aboard recovery ship, USS <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Essex</i></span>&nbsp;</p>

The Apollo 7 crew is welcomed aboard USS Essex, the prime recovery ship for the mission. Left to right are astronauts Walter M. Schirra Jr., commander; Donn F. Eisele, command module pilot; and Walter Cunningham, lunar module pilot. In left background is Dr. Donald E. Stullken, NASA Recovery Team Leader from the Manned Spacecraft Center’s (MSC) Landing and Recovery Division.  (NASA Photo ID: S68-49744)


Published: Mon Jul 08 16:55:57 EDT 2019