Former Mercury 7 astronaut Wally Schirra dies - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Former Mercury 7 astronaut Wally Schirra dies

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SAN DIEGO, CA-"Wally" Schirra, one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, has died. According to NASA, Schirra's family says he had been suffering from cancer and died Wednesday night.

He is the only man to fly on all three of NASA's early space missions. In 1962, Schirra became the third American to orbit the Earth. During the nine-hour-plus flight, he circled the globe six times.

Three years later he went back into space as commander of Gemini Six. He guided the two-man capsule to within a few feet of Gemini Seven. It was the first rendezvous of two spacecraft in orbit.

Schirra's third and final space flight came in 1968. It inaugurated the Apollo program, which ultimately landed a man on the moon.

Wally Schirra was 84.

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