Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham dies at 90 | Frost Tech

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Walter Cunningham, an astronaut who was the final surviving member of the 1968 Apollo 7 mission, died Tuesday at age 90. Iowa-born Cunningham served within the US Navy and Marine Corps. first manned (and first televised) flight.

NASA confirmed Cunningham’s dying, including that he was “instrumental to the success of our Moon touchdown program.” In accordance with the Houston ChronicleCunningham died at an area hospital from problems from a fall.

Apollo 7 was NASA’s first spaceflight after the 1967 Apollo 1 tragedy, the place a fireplace killed three astronauts throughout a check run. This led to an extended than typical coaching interval, as NASA archived human-crewed spaceflight for 21 months after Apollo 1. The crew spent many hours finding out the design of the spacecraft and the development of the modules. of Apollo Command and Service (CSM) to assist forestall a repeat tragedy, which might have been harmful to the astronauts and this system. Lastly, the crew splashed down on Earth on October 22, 1968, after almost 11 days in house. Apollo 7 additional examined NASA tools and helped pave the way in which for Apollo 11, the place the primary people walked on the moon.

From left to proper: Walter Schirra, Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham, Dr. Donald E. Stullken


Cunningham retired from NASA in 1971 and has tried public talking, radio internet hosting, offshore engineering, industrial actual property, and enterprise capital investments. Sadly, he additionally grew to become an outspoken local weather change denier. talking to Forbes In 2013, Cunningham reviewed a laundry listing of fossil gasoline business speaking factors, framing fashionable NASA as a media-controlled group whereas claiming that the science of local weather change was nearer to demagogy than truth. . (For the file, local weather change is actual, and we’re working out of time to avert disaster.)

“I positively assume we reside within the good outdated days,” Cunningham stated in a 1999 NASA interview. “We reside within the golden age of human spaceflight. We’ve been in house for greater than 40 years. The primary 40 years of aviation, we went from barely flying to jet transportation, you realize. And now, we have not moved that far since we went into house. The times of Apollo can be remembered; there’ll by no means be one other time like that once more. Even once we go to Mars, it will likely be completely different. And I really feel fortunate to have been a small a part of this explicit time in spaceflight.”

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Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham dies at 90