Wally Schirra Status: Deceased 3/12/1923 – 5/3/2007 Nationality: American Type: Government First Flight: 10/3/1962 Last Flight: 10/11/1968 Walter Marty Schirra Jr. was an American naval aviator and NASA astronaut. In 1959, he became one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, which was the United States’ first effort to put human beings in space. On October 3, 1962, he flew the six-orbit, nine-hour, Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, in a spacecraft he nicknamed Sigma 7. At the time of his mission in Sigma 7, Schirra became the fifth American and ninth human to travel into space. In the two-man Gemini program, he achieved the first space rendezvous, station-keeping his Gemini 6A spacecraft within 1 foot (30 cm) of the sister Gemini 7 spacecraft in December 1965. In October 1968, he commanded Apollo 7, an 11-day low Earth orbit shakedown test of the three-man Apollo Command/Service Module and the first manned launch for the Apollo program. Launches Atlas LV-3B | Mercury-Atlas 8 Titan II GLV | Gemini VI-A Saturn IB | Apollo 7 National Aeronautics and Space Administration Type: Government Abbreviation: NASA Administration: Administrator: Jim Bridenstine Founded: 1958 Launchers: Space Shuttle | SLS Spacecraft: Orion Country: USA The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA have many launch facilities but most are inactive. The most commonly used pad will be LC-39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.