More Apollo 7 artifacts: an Exer-genie (left) and calendar watch (right).
No American astronauts flew between November 1966 and October 1968, while NASA
worked to recover from the Apollo 1 fire. In October 1968, time came to launch
a 10-day shakedown cruise of the redesigned Apollo Command Module.
Mercury 7 astronaut Wally Schirra and two rookies, Walt Cunningham and Donn
Eisele, put the Apollo 7 spacecraft through its paces. When the big Command
Module engine first ignited, Schirra shouted, "Yabadabadoo! That was a real
kick in the pants!"
Apollo official General Samuel Phillips was only slightly less exuberant. He
dubbed the mission "a 101% success."
"11-Day Cold Capsule"
Schirra was first to report the sniffles, about 15 hours into Apollo 7. In the
close confines of the Command Module, his cold quickly spread to Eisele and
Apollo 7 Commander Wally Schirra counted down the 11 days of his third and
final spaceflight using this calendar watch.
Apollo 7 Pilot Walt Cunningham used this Exer-genie device to keep fit during
11 weightless days in Earth orbit.