The loss of Cunningham is a deep blow to the field of space science. His contributions to the success of the first manned Apollo mission will not be forgotten and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of astronauts and space enthusiasts.
Cunningham flew aboard the Apollo 7 mission in October 1968 alongside Captain Walter Schirra and Major Donn Eisele. The mission, which completed 163 orbits of the Earth and was the first to be televised from space, was considered a success and helped restore confidence in NASA following the tragedy of the Apollo 1 capsule fire which killed three astronauts during a rehearsal in 1967.
A physicist and former Marine pilot, Cunningham was the second civilian in space after Neil Armstrong. He monitored the flight systems of the Apollo 7 mission and also successfully tested an engine designed to put the spacecraft into and out of lunar orbit on a future mission. However, Cunningham and Eisele did not fly in space again following the mission due to conflicts with Schirra.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Walter Cunningham, an astronaut who participated in the first manned Apollo mission, at the age of 90. His death was announced by NASA.
Astronaut Walter Cunningham leaves a lasting legacy in the field of space science
The loss of Walter Cunningham is a deep blow to the field of space science. His contributions to the success of the first manned Apollo mission will not be forgotten and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of astronauts and space enthusiasts.
Cunningham was known for his intelligence and determination, qualities that were instrumental in the success of the Apollo 7 mission. He will be deeply missed by the space community and his passing leaves a hole that will be difficult to fill.
As we mourn the loss of Walter Cunningham, we also celebrate his life and the impact he had on the field of space science. He was a true pioneer and his legacy will live on for years to come.