|The fire, which took the lives
of Grissom, White, and Chaffee was a huge wake
up call for NASA. An investigation was
launched into the cause of the accident. A
major review of NASA management and procedures
The Apollo spacecraft was redesigned. No
longer would pure oxygen be used while the
capsule was on the ground. Anything
flammable was removed from the spacecraft.
NASA management was shifted and in some cases
On April 23, 1967, after a long absence, the
Soviet Union would take its next step in the
race for the Moon. A new spacecraft called
Soyuz was launched with veteran cosmonaut
Vladimir Komarov on board.
The Soyuz was a remarkable advancement beyond
the simple Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft.
Soon after reaching orbit, Komarov experienced a
multitude of system failures. At one point
machine ... nothing I lay my hands on
Ground controllers told Komarov to try and get
some sleep. He would be orbiting out of
contact with ground control for the next 9
During this time the attitude
stabilization system failed. It was vital
that the spacecraft be kept in the proper
alignment for reentry. Without the proper
alignment the spacecraft and Komarov would not
Realizing how desperate Komarov's
situation was, the ground controllers brought in
Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin to speak
personally to Komarov. Komarov's wife
Valentina was also brought in to talk with her
Komarov struggled to get the Soyuz
aligned properly for reentry and on the 18th
orbit he was finally able to do so. He had
to put the vehicle into a spinning motion to
maintain the correct alignment. The spacecraft
survived reentry into the Earth's atmosphere,
but due to the imprecise reentry attitude the
parachute recovery system became damaged from
After multiple attempts, Komarov was able to get
the drogue parachute deployed but the main
parachute did not. Finally, Komarov was
able to deploy the back up parachute.
Unfortunately it became entangled with the
With no functional parachutes to slow it down,
Soyuz 1 with Komarov on board plummeted to Earth
near a town called Orenburg, Russia. It is
estimated that when Soyuz 1 struck the ground it
was traveling at a speed of around 400 miles per
The reentry rockets on the Soyuz exploded upon
impact and Komarov was killed instantly. Only
three months after the United States had
experienced a horrible space program tragedy,
the Soviet Union now also had one to deal
with. Both programs would incur long
Twenty one months would elapse after the Apollo
1 fire before NASA was ready to send
another crew into the perils of
space. The designation for this mission
would be Apollo 7. Several unmanned Apollo
missions would precede it.
Walter Marty Schirra, Jr. was
chosen to be the Commander for Apollo 7.
Schirra was a veteran astronaut having flown
before in both Mercury and Gemini
spacecraft. He would be the only astronaut
ever to fly in Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.
on Apollo 7 would be Command Module Pilot Donn
Fulton Eisele. Eisele was a rookie
astronaut without spaceflight experience.
Completing the Apollo 7 crew as Lunar Module
Pilot was Ronnie Walter (Walt) Cunningham.
Like Eisele, Cunningham was a rookie. Even
though there was no Lunar Module on the Apollo 7
mission, a crew member was still designated as
the Lunar Module Pilot.
rocket used to launch Apollo 7 was a Saturn
IB. This Saturn was constructed with
two rocket stages. The Saturn 1B
would not be the type of rocket that would
propel later missions to the Moon. The primary
mission objective of Apollo 7 was to test out
the Apollo command and service module in low
7 was launched from Launch Complex 34 at the
Kennedy Space Center on October 11, 1968.
At the moment of liftoff, an unidentified Apollo
7 crewmember announced, "Lift-off, and clocks running." The
Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) responded, "Roger. Godspeed, Apollo 7."
At 11 seconds, Commander Schirra reported
"Roll commence." This
confirmed that the vehicle was performing its
planned roll maneuver. At 44 seconds, Schirra
reported, "She's running - it's
getting a little noisy now."
At 1 minute, 18 seconds into the flight, the
launch vehicle experienced max q. That is
the region of the flight where maximum
aerodynamic pressure is exerted upon the
vehicle. At 2 minutes and 1 second, CAPCOM
informed the crew, "Apollo 7,
you are GO for staging." Schirra
responded, "Roger. we're GO."
At 2 minutes, 20 seconds into the
flight inboard engine cutoff on the first stage
S-IB proceeded according to flight
plan. Approximately 4 seconds later
outboard engine cutoff was achieved in
preparation for staging. The S-IB stage
separated from the launch vehicle at 2 minutes
and 25.6 seconds. The J2 engine of the
second stage (S-IVB) ignited at 2 minutes 27
seconds into the flight.
The escape tower was jettisoned at 2 minutes 46
seconds. Communication became somewhat
sporadic. At 3 minutes, 21 seconds,
Schirra reported, "Tower
jettisoned beautifully, did you get that?"
CAPCOM Swigert responded, "Yes
we didn't get that, but we got GO."
At 5 minutes and 51 seconds after launch
CAPCOM radioed to the Apollo 7 crew, "You're looking real fine, Apollo 7."
Schirra responded, "Roger, she's
riding like a dream. 6 minutes, and we're
really going." Command Module
Pilot Eisele added, "This center
window view is sensational."
The S-IVB J2
engine cutoff at 10 minutes 16 seconds into the
flight. Reporting the engine shutoff,
Commander Schirra exclaimed, "SECO!" At 10
minutes and 26 seconds, Apollo 7 was in
orbit. Schirra asked his crew mates about
the ride, "How do like that ..."
Eisele responded, "Man, it felt
like something shooting me clean off the
At 24 minutes and 23 seconds, Schirra told his
crewmates, "Guys, we had a good
second stage for a few seconds after the count
and reached 2 g before SECO. If we got
information by the way on Mode 4 I didn't hear
it, did anyone else copy?"
Cunningham responded, "I didn't hear
it either, and in spite of the g-load, I had
no trouble reaching all the switches and
operating the time-code meter throughout."
Schirra continued, "Just after the
last part, after 2 minutes, it started to read
about 4 g."
At 29 minutes, 21 seconds Eisele told his
crewmates, "Hey, I've found a good place for the
pens, gang." Cunningham asked, "For the what?" Eisele
clarified, "Pen, like this, see?"
Cunningham responded, "Oh, that's real cute. That
should take care of all of our pencil jazz."
Early in the flight, rookies
Cunningham and Eisele were marveling at their
initial impressions of Earth orbit. At 37
minutes and 35 seconds, Cunningham asked the
"Do you ever get the impression that
we're deorbiting?" Schirra
responded, "Oh man, wait
'til you see us pointing straight down
sometime. You feel like you're doing a split
S. You know, I did that one time and I
wanted to pull out."
At 59 minutes and 56 seconds,
Schirra reported, "Okay, Jack,
Donn is taking off his suit now; Walt's and
mine are still on. We get an O2 FLOW HI when Donn opens up the suit,
and we analyze that as the suit rate trying to
catch up to the cabin, so we are GO."
At 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 20
seconds, Schirra told his crewmates, "Look at the sunrise, gang. There
you go. That's the thrill of this
business. See it, Walt?"
Cunningham responded that he did. Schirra
continued, "Hey, look at the
clouds Walt." Cunningham
exclaimed, "Look at those
thunderheads!" Schirra added, "Yes, aren't they great?"
Cunningham added, "Lord - Those are some big ones aren't
At 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 0 seconds, Schirra
commented to his crewmates, "Hey, I tell you - I think you - that
Gunnar Went." This was in
reference to a comment that was made about Pad
Leader Guenter Wendt when he left the white
room, while the crew was waiting inside their
capsule prior to liftoff.
"Hey, why are you laughing - didn't it
have to happen before?" Eisele
answered, "I have never heard it
- I just about busted a gut (laughter).
It's such an obvious pun, I guess planning is
the thing -- Well he said, 'It looks like
Gunnar's going' and you said, 'Yes, I think
Gunnar Went.'" Schirra overcome
with laughter pleaded for them to stop, "Listen, you're breaking my heart."
At 2 hours, 55 minutes, and 2
seconds, the Command Service Module was
separated from the spent S-IVB stage. At 2
hours, 55 minutes, and 8 seconds, Schirra asked
Mission Control, "Did you hear
that on the ground?" CAPCOM Tom
Stafford responded, "No.
You're saying that was loud, right?"
Schirra answered, "Loudest sound
heard around the world."
observed the S-IVB that they had separated
from. The four SLA adapter panels that had
connected the Command Service Module were now
splayed like the petals of a flower. CAPCOM
Stafford made a reference to a visual from his
Gemini 9 flight. He radioed, "Looks like you're looking down on a 4
jawed angry alligator." Schirra
reported, "It's a bigger one,
The first test of the Service Propulsion System
(SPS) engine was initiated at 1 day, 2 hours, 24
minutes and 25 seconds into the flight.
The burn lasted for 10 seconds.
At 1 day, 4 hours, 0 minutes, 56 seconds a
second burn of the SPS engine was initiated.
This burn lasted for 7.8 seconds.
At 2 days, 23 hours, 42 minutes, and 14 seconds
LMP Cunningham radioed Mission Control, "At what time do you want the TV turned
on?" CAPCOM Stafford replied, "Standby. Roger, we're ready for TV
now, turn it on."
The Apollo 7 crew provided views of the inside
of the spacecraft with the first live in-flight
Cunningham was manning the camera while Schirra
and Eisele held up a fireproof cue card with a
message. CAPCOM Stafford radioed, "Donn, turn your head to the right.
There you go. Hey we're picking up - I
can read it, just a minute. It says,
'From that Lovely Apollo"' - you guys should
right - 'High Atop Something.' I can see
Wally handle it now. 'From the Lovely Apollo
Room, High Atop Everything.'"
Stafford then instructed Eisele, "Lean back a little bit, you're too
close to the camera - there you are.
We'll have Cecil B. de Stafford directing down
held up a different fireproof cue card with a
message. CAPCOM Stafford radioed, "A little closer Wally. It says,
'Keep Those Cards Coming - Keep Those Cards
and Letters Coming Folks.' It's loud and
clear." Schirra radioed, "Yes sir, a funny show for the entire
At 2 days, 23 hours 51 minutes, and 56 seconds
CAPCOM Stafford radioed, "And again, I can't tell you how good the
- that TV picture looked down here inside the
spacecraft; just beautiful."
Eisele answered, "That's
amazing." Schirra added, "Roger, we have some more cue cards for
Schirra wasn't quite as jovial about the
television broadcast when he logged some
notes with the onboard voice recorder
while they were out of radio contact. At 3
days, 0 hours, 33 minutes, and 48 seconds,
Schirra noted, "In retrospect, my
decision not to use the television camera
prior to the first SPS burn was sound.
We had too much to do to get the television
camera ready. There was too much
attention paid to the results of the
television camera rather than anything else,
as was typical in this pass."
He continued, "I believe that the
television should be left as the last
low-priority test objective in relation to any
other event that might occur
simultaneously. Typically, with a
television camera on board, the crew reacted
to it, and we fortunately had no problems
occur, but we were paying way too much
attention to the TV camera and not the
It was obvious that the television
broadcasts were not part of the mission plan
that Schirra supported. He finished the log
with, "This is why I object to a TV camera in
the first place. A candid-camera
syndrome is a very awkward one to have in a
At 3 days, 10 hours, 12 minutes, and 58 seconds,
Cunningham radioed, "And have the
doctors done any talking down there about the
possibility of one or all of us having a cold
and stopped up ears on reentry?"
CAPCOM replied, "Roger. They've
been thinking about it and will advise."
Cunningham continued, "Okay. We've got something on
board here in a medical kit called
antibiotic. I was just wondering if we
ought to be taking it or what? So far,
Wally's, I guess, holding his own on his
ears. Donn may be getting a little bit
worse, and I think my ears are still clearing
up fairly well."
Early in the
flight, the crew developed head colds and it
affected their demeanor. Commander Schirra
was particularly grumpy in communications with
ground controllers. Perhaps his attitude
was still affected by the loss of his three
comrades in the Apollo 1 fire.
At 3 days, 18 hours,
39 minutes and 41 seconds, Schirra radioed to
Mission Control, "I suggest for
somebody for tomorrow get to work on the sleep
plan. You've cut us out of an hours
sleep already." CAPCOM responded,
Schirra continued, "We all three
have our colds. I asked for an hour and
a half of sleep for each of us last night and
apparently that was ignored."
At 3 days, 22 hours, 33 minutes, and 34 seconds,
CAPCOM informed the crew, "Hey,
it looks like your cards and letters are
coming in here real strong over the past 24
hours, and your TV ratings on the Monday
morning show are pretty high."
A short while later CAPCOM radioed, "Sounds like you guys are riding in a
real Cadillac up there. Things have been
going real good from where we sit."
Schirra responded, "We've had some
traumatic experiences with that AC 1 and AC
bus 2 slipping out. Water all over the
place, but it looks to be in good shape if
nothing goes wrong."
The new spaceship was testing out very well
although there were some issues. One issue
in particular that Schirra referenced was a
water leak in some cooling lines. At one
point in the mission Cunningham soaked up
over a pint of loose water from the rear
At 3 days 22 hours, 52 minutes,
and 1 second, Cunningham reported, "I had to use that gray tape ... and
tape that BIOMED lead together that kept
coming apart. I also used it to tape the
microphone together and the lightweight head
set, which started coming apart. The
gray tape is pretty good gear."
A second television broadcast was scheduled and
at 3 days 23 hours, 26 minutes, and 51 seconds,
CAPCOM Swigert radioed, "Look like, 'From the Lovely Apollo Room,
High Atop Everything.'" This time
Eisele was manning the camera.
CMP Eisele radioed, "That's
right. Coming to you live from outer
space, the one and only original Apollo
orbiting road show, starring those great
acrobats of outer space, Wally Schirra and
Schirra held up
another fireproof cue card. CAPCOM
radioed, "Just a minute, Wally.
Let's see. Oh, it's a little message to
Deke Slayton. A little bit closer
Wally. Kind of looks like something
about - 'Are you a, are you a --"
Schirra acknowledged, "That's right."
CAPCOM continued, "Looks like it
says, 'Are you a turtle, Deke Slayton?"
Schirra confirmed, "That's right."
added, "You get an A for reading
today Jack." Swigert continued, "Here comes another one. Walt, oh,
that-a-way, that's the way to turn it. It
says, 'Paul Haney, are you a turtle?'"
Cunningham radioed, "You'll get a
gold star. Perfect score!"
Swigert reported, "And there is no
reply from Paul Haney there."
Cunningham asked, "You mean he's
A short while later, CAPCOM Cernan informed
Schirra, "Wally, this is Gene.
Deke just called in, and we've got your
answer, and we've got it recorded for you
return." Schirra acknowledged, "Roger. Real fine."
Shortly there after, Schirra asked CAPCOM
Swigert, "Have you got Haney's answer
yet?" Swigert replied, "No, Haney's isn't talking, Wally."
Swigert then added, "Somebody tells
me he isn't talking, but just buying."
A pleased Schirra responded, "He is buying. Thank you very
much. Very good."
This exchange about turtles was a
reference to the notorious Turtle's Club
drinking club of which Wally Schirra held the
title of a Grand Potentate. During Schirra's
Mercury flight Deke Slayton had radioed up to
Schirra asking Schirra if he was a turtle.
The proper response for a member of the Turtle's
Club to give when challenged by another Turtle
member could be misconstrued if taken out of
context. The expectation is that every
Turtle has in their possession a donkey.
So the proper Turtle response is, "You bet your
sweet ass I am." If a Turtle member fails
to give the appropriate response, then they owe
a drink to everyone within listening distance.
Referencing Slayton's challenge to Schirra
during Schirra's Mercury flight, Wally radioed,
"Remind Deke it took six years to get
that question back to him."
The antics by Schirra
during this second television broadcast were in
stark contrast with what his real feelings were
towards these flight plan required broadcasts.
At 4 days, 0 hours, 26 minutes, and 49 seconds,
Schirra reported, "We're going through
a meal now and probably have a gripe.
The cracker-type food, the chicken sandwiches:
they are all crumbly, and we have a lot of
problems with crumbs all over the
cockpit. We have been rejecting a lot of
At 4 days, 1 hour, 0 minutes, and 42 seconds,
CAPCOM Swigert informed Schirra, "Wally, this test here has the
telescope sunlight of sight at 70 degrees,
which is the worst case, and we would kind of
like to get that one in."
A miffed Schirra replied, "That's what I've been trying to tell
you. With the best case, we didn't do
any good. If you want us to do the test,
all right; we will do it, but we are kind of
tired arguing with people who tell us to do
this. I'm not talking about you, but the
various things you don't know about
At 4 days, 1 hour, 9 minutes, and
48 seconds, Schirra reported, "Jack, I would recommend to the next
crew that they try to eliminate as much
bite-sized food; that's bothering all of us
already." Schirra added, "However, the breakfast drink is going
over very well, but we need a different type
At 4 days, 1 hour, 24 minutes, and 59 seconds,
Schirra reported his physical condition,
CDR. I still have a rather thick mucous
nose cold, but none of us are coughing.
We're very well rested although last night was
a rather short night; and we'll take advantage
of longer hours to catch up again. We've
all had plenty to eat and drink, if not too
much. The sight of food is just too rich
for us. I'm still on aspirin and I'm off
Actifed at this time, and all of us are
getting out of Actifed. We don't have
enough left to keep taking it for the length
of the mission. We'll use it prior to
Next Eisele reported his physical condition,
"This is the
CMP. My only complaint is a head cold,
just like Wally. I find that my ears
plug up now and then. I would take the
Actifed except for running out and I want to
save it for reentry in case we need it
then. Other than that, I'm in good
shape. I've had plenty to eat and drink,
had plenty of sleep. No problems."
reported his status, "Okay. I'm in
good shape. I've been sleeping a little
better every night, and my ears are just
barely clear some mornings and sometimes
not. I don't feel bad; I don't feel like
I have a cold. I just feel like I'm
pretty stuffed up and on the verge of getting
At 4 days, 3 hours, 2 minutes, and 27 seconds
LMP Cunningham asked CAPCOM Jack Swigert, "Roger, Jack. Did the doctors
ever say anything about using this antibiotic
as a preventative medicine up here?"
Swigert responded, "Stand by.
Okay, Walt, on that question, there is
not any need to use any of the
antibiotics. They don't feel that would
help or cure a cold."
It was time for a third live television
broadcast from space. At 4 days, 23 hours, 9
minutes, and 5 seconds, CAPCOM Swigert radioed,
the picture; it's a little bright. Could you
bring it in a little? From The
Lovely Apollo Room High Atop Everything."
CDR Schirra commented, "Roger. This
is your captain speaking on this flight, and
you can unfasten your seat belts and relax,
and we hope to make this flight enjoyable for
you." Cunningham gave a demonstration of
eating food for the television audience." A tour was given of Schirra's
instrument console and a view of some of the
leaky plumbing was provided.
Shortly after the television broadcast, It was
time for another burn of the Service Propulsion
System engine. This burn lasted for
approximately 10 seconds.
At 5 days, 3 hours, 12 minutes, and 2 seconds,
Cunningham had another comment to make about the
quality of the food, "Hey, Jack.
This is Walt. I got a comment on this
food that you might pass to Frank and his
guys. This high-caloried stuff where
they've got everything hiked with calories, is
just getting to us something fierce. In
order to get a lot of calories in small
weight, everything is hiked up and it's all
got a sweet taste, and something you think
tasted real good to you, by the time you get
to the end of the bag of it, you really can't
look at it - look it in the eye very well."
It was time for another television
broadcast. At 5 days, 21 hours, 13
minutes, and 19 seconds, CAPCOM radioed,
"We've got a good
picture now Walt."
A video tour was given of the Command Module
windows. The tour continued with the
sleeping areas under the couches and showed
Eisele getting ready for his sleep shift.
Schirra was still not
happy with what the television broadcasts were
doing to the mission timeline of other
activities that were required by the crew.
At 6 days 4 hours 12 minutes, and 50 seconds,
Schirra radioed, "We thought today was very busy,
and tomorrow we have the big burn - burn
5. We'd like to consider deleting the TV
CAPCOM Swigert responded, "Roger, We copy that.
We are digesting that, Wally."
At 6 days, 6 hours, 8 minutes, and 38 seconds,
CAPCOM Ron Evans informed Schirra of the
decision made about the television
broadcast. Evans radioed, "We concur on negative TV
At 6 days, 15 hours, 3 minutes and
10 seconds, CMP Eisele reported, "I've got two
sleeping beauties and a sound ship." The Apollo 7 crew was split
into two sleep shifts so that someone would be
always be awake to constantly monitor the
spacecraft systems. Schirra and Cunningham
were on one shift, while Eisele was on a shift
At 6 days, 19 hours, 28 minutes, and 17 seconds,
Schirra was awake and greeted CAPCOM Bill Pogue,
Pogue responded, "Good
Morning Wally. How's everything?" Schirra responded, "Very good.
Haven't heard you in a while."
Cunningham added, "Understand you're
a big TV fan of ours." Pogue replied, "That's
right, I've been running home after work, just
in time to watch."
we were going to try for an Emmy for best
Pogue replied, "I thought you were going to try for a
At 6 days 20
hours 59 minutes and 55 seconds, CAPCOM Pogue
counted down the time until ignition for the
fifth burn of the SPS engine, "5,
4, 3, 2, 1. Ignition"
Schirra replied, "Starting."
added, "4 balls out."
The crew had difficulty reading the instruments
on the control panel because sunlight streaming
in from a window made some of the displays
impossible to read. They had to guess when
to cutoff the engine and exceeded the planned
velocity. Schirra was not pleased and
radioed, "That's your
big mistake in changing the rules real
time. First off, we couldn't see the
CAPCOM Pogue responded, "Roger.
We read that; I think that the situation is
rather obvious now."
A gruff Schirra responded, "Okay. Then let's learn a
big lesson from that."
from the plumbing continued to plague the crew
and they often had to soak up the excess
water. At one point after the burn a pint
had accumulated on the rear bulkhead.
At 7 days, 4 hours, 50 minutes, and
14 seconds, an irritated LMP Cunningham
responded to a procedure requested by Mission
Control, "Okay, I just
might do it, but go on the record here as
saying, people that dream up procedures like
this after you liftoff, have somehow or
other been dropping the ball for the last
three years if they have a procedure where
you can reservice. And this is kind of
Mickey Mouse, but I'll do it if I have
to. I've got the secondary step
repeated for 40 cycles if necessary."
At 7 days, 7 hours, 40 minutes, and 38 seconds,
Eisele inquired, "Hey,
Ron, you got any hot news for us."
Evans replied, "Roger, the
paper says your SPS burn was the mightiest
maneuver ever made by a manned
Schirra and the doctors on the ground were
concerned that because of the congestion from
their head colds the crew might break their
eardrums if they were unable to relieve the
pressure by clearing their ears.
the astronauts to wear their pressure helmets
and spacesuits during reentry. On reason
for that was a precaution in case the command
module should loose pressurization. Another
concern was that crewmembers would not be
restrained properly without the bulky suits in
place on the couches.
At 7 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes and 58 seconds,
Commander Schirra informed CAPCOM Bill Anders, "We are very worried about our
ears. They are all blocked up with these
colds. We're having a time to get one to
clear, and we are seriously considering
entering shirt-sleeve. I'm afraid that
we can't quite clear our ears on the way down,
but if we do have to clear them on the way
down we'll have to take the helmets off.
And then they become a hazard bouncing around
the cockpit. We feel the risk of
rupturing our ear drums is higher than the
risk of injury without having our suits
on. We realize the restraint harness
won't fit us closely, and we are considering
we can wear our life vest over our
CAPCOM Anders responded, "Roger. I think we understand what
you are saying there, and there has been
considerable ground discussion regarding
that." This discussion was brought up
several more times before the end of the
At 7 days, 21 hours, 3 minutes, and
58 seconds it was time for another television
broadcast. Command Schirra began the
broadcast by joking, "Good morning
Houston; you are looking down the
couches. The crew is out just now for a
coffee break. I think you will find that
without the crew here, there is nothing to
fear - nothing to fear. This is a taped
At 8 days, 18 hours, and 5 minutes into the
flight the crew prepared for another burn of the
SPS engine. At 18 hours, 7 minutes, and 50
seconds, CAPCOM counted down towards ignition of
the engine, "Ten, five, four,
three, two, one. Ignition." At 8
days, 18, hours 8 minutes and 21 seconds, Lunar
Module Pilot Cunningham reported, "Roger. Burn complete Delta-V thrust A
and B off."
At 10 days, 19 hours, 43 minutes, and 33
seconds, the Command Module separated from the
Service Module in preparation for reentry.
Entry interface with the Earth's atmosphere
occurred at 10 days, 19 hours, 53 minutes, and
27 seconds. 400,000 feet is the the
altitude that is considered entry interface.
Apollo 7 entered a communication blackout at 10
days 19 hours, 54 minutes and 58 seconds.
This blackout is caused by the ionization cloud
the envelopes the spacecraft during
reentry. Apollo 7 exited the blackout at
10 days, 19 hours, 59 minutes, and 46 seconds.
The drogue parachute
was deployed from the Command Module at 10 days,
20 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds. This
was followed by the main parachute deployment at
10 days 20 hours, 4 minutes, and 13 seconds.
On October 22, 1968, at 10 days, Apollo 7
splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean. The
crew had orbited the Earth for 163
revolutions. The flight duration for
Apollo 7 was 10 days, 20 hours, 9 minutes, and 3
Despite the difficulty in dealing with the
attitudes of the crew, the Apollo 7 mission was
considered a success. Apollo Program
Director General Sam Phillips was quoted to have
said "We achieved
101 percent of our mission objectives".
This success did not carry over into the
careers of the three astronauts.
Director of Flight Operations Christopher Kraft
called Schirra and the whole Apollo 7 crew
recalcitrant. Before the flight Schirra
had stated his intention to retire upon the
completion of Apollo 7 and did so. Eisele
and Cunningham would never have the opportunity
to fly again.
flight the crew was presented with an Emmy award
the television industry for their live
television broadcasts from space.