Wally Schirra

The US space program was launched, so to speak, in 1959, when the first seven mercury astronauts were named.

These pioneers laid the groundwork for the Gemini, Apollo, and space shuttle missions that would follow in coming years and decades.

Among those seven was a 36-year-old test pilot named Wally Schirra.

Over the next few years he would become a household name, along with those like John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and Alan Shepard.

Finally, in 1988, Schirra wrote his autobiography. And that’s when I had a chance to meet him

So here now, from 1988, astronaut Wally Schirra/

Wally Schirra died in 2007. He was 84.

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