Collection Item Summary:
The first manned mission of the Apollo series was Apollo 7, launched on October 11, 1968 atop a Saturn IB. On board were Walter Schirra, Don Eisele, and Walter Cunningham. The purpose of the 10-day flight was to test the systems of the Command and Service Modules while in Earth orbit. A major redesign of the command module had occurred after the deadly Apollo 1 fire and this mission was the first opportunity to test the first of the new Block II spacecraft (CSM 101) in orbit. All of the systems performed as designed, including the critical Service Module engine which was required for future Apollo missions to the moon. The only significant difficulty in the mission was the fact that all three astronauts developed severe head colds. The mission ended uneventfully with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.
NASA transferred the Apollo 7 Command Module to the Smithsonian Institution in 1970.