Picture of Apollo 7 spacecraft
The Apollo 7 mission was launched on Oct. 11, 1968, carrying astronauts Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham, and Walter Schirra, Jr., who had already flown on the Mercury and Gemini missions. It used a Saturn IB booster instead of the more powerful Saturn V, used for Apollo 11, which had not yet been extensively tested. It successfully accomplished all its objectives, giving NASA and the Apollo space program much confidence following the Apollo 1 disaster.
Apollo 7 spent eleven days making 163 orbits around Earth, proving that its command module would last long enough to make a trip to the Moon possible. The astronauts enjoyed its large cabin, compared to the cramped quarters of the Gemini spacecraft, but complained about the food and all caught colds. In space, a cold's symptoms are more severe because the mucus does not drain as easily from your head.
Apollo 7 also returned the first live television pictures from space. It earned public and government support for a mission to the Moon, accomplished by the Apollo 8 mission, only months later.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
Driven by a recent surge in space research, the Apollo program hoped to add to the accomplishments of the Lunar Orbiter and Surveyor missions of the late 1960's. Apollo 11 was the first mission to succeed...more
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was one of the most important exploration tools of the past two decades, and will continue to serve as a great resource well into the new millennium. The HST is credited...more
Apollo 12 survived a lightning strike during its launch on Nov. 14, 1969, and arrived at the Moon three days later. Astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean descended to the surface, while Richard Gordon...more
Apollo 15 marked the start of a new series of missions from the Apollo space program, each capable of exploring more lunar terrain than ever before. Launched on July 26, 1971, Apollo 15 reached the Moon...more
NASA chose Deep Impact to be part of a special series called the Discovery Program on July 7, 1999. In May 2001, Deep Impact was given the "go" from NASA to start with mission development. Deep Impact...more
The Galileo spacecraft was launched on October 19, 1989. Galileo had two parts: an orbiter and a descent probe that parachuted into Jupiter's atmosphere. Galileo's primary mission was to explore the Jovian...more
During 1966 through 1967, five identical Lunar Orbiter spacecrafts were launched, with the purpose of mapping the Moon's surface and finding smooth, level terrain, in preparation for the Apollo and Surveyor...more