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  Astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra (1923-2007) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra (1923-2007)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-03-2007 10:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With heartfelt sadness, we mourn the loss of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronaut, Walter M. "Wally" Schirra at the age 84. He passed away early Thursday after having been hospitalized for a heart attack.

Original astronaut Wally Schirra dies at 84

"It's a terrible loss of a dear friend, cherished comrade and a brother," said Schirra's fellow Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter. "Despite our good natured competition for flights into space, Wally strove to bring a smile to everyone he met and its with a smile that I will forever fondly remember him."

In February 2002, author Francis French conducted an extensive interview with Schirra: 'I worked with NASA, not for NASA'.

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said the following:

Today is a sad day for NASA and our country, as we mourn the passing yesterday in California of astronaut Walter "Wally" Schirra. With Wally's passing, we at NASA note with sorrow the loss of yet another of the pioneers of human spaceflight. As a Mercury astronaut, Wally was a member of the first group of astronauts to be selected, often referred to as the "Original Seven." Wally is remembered in the close circle of the space community as the pilot who flew a "textbook flight" on his Mercury mission in October 1962.

But Wally's spaceflight career went well beyond Mercury; on his next flight, in December 1965, he commanded the Gemini 6 mission with Tom Stafford as pilot. Wally and Tom carried out the first rendezvous in space, flying for hours in formation with Frank Borman and Jim Lovell in their Gemini 7 spacecraft, and completing one of the key steps along the path to the moon.

The fact that this mission flew at all will always be known as a testimony to Wally's cool precision under stress, for Gemini 6 experienced the first on-pad engine shutdown in human spaceflight history. Worse, the crew had a liftoff indication triggered by a faulty umbilical connection; according to mission rules, they should have ejected from the spacecraft. But Wally did not feel what he thought he should have felt had the booster really begun to take flight, and so the crew stayed aboard, saving the mission and quite possibly the program.

Wally's last flight was Apollo 7, the first to be conducted in the aftermath of the disastrous Apollo 1 fire. This flight was another enormous success, accomplishing "101% of its objectives," according to the post-flight debrief. It also made Wally the first man to command three different spacecraft, and the only one to fly Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.

It was impossible to know Wally, even to meet him, without realizing at once that he was a man who relished the lighter side of life, the puns and jokes and pranks that can enliven a gathering. But this was a distraction from the true nature of the man. His record as a pioneering space pilot shows the real stuff of which he was made. We who have inherited today's space program will always be in his debt.

A moment of silence is signified by an entry with no words and only a period.

Scott
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posted 05-03-2007 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My sympathies to his family and friends. He was a really nice guy and I enjoyed very much meeting and talking with him in San Antonio.

lewarren
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posted 05-03-2007 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for lewarren   Click Here to Email lewarren     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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SCE to AUX
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posted 05-03-2007 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SCE to AUX     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Larry McGlynn
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posted 05-03-2007 10:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I will miss his sense of humor.

Rob Sumowski
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posted 05-03-2007 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Sumowski   Click Here to Email Rob Sumowski     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed, Wally. You were always so kind to me, and to all of us. God be with you.

Machodoc
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posted 05-03-2007 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Machodoc   Click Here to Email Machodoc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While they are/were all special, Wally's ready laugh and legendary sense of humor is what always made him my favorite.

I feel as if I've lost a close friend.

Godspeed and rest easy Wally, and and thoughts and prayers to the family.

767FO
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posted 05-03-2007 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 767FO   Click Here to Email 767FO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Was so sorry to hear this. What a truly classy and great guy he was!

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 05-03-2007 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
RIP the unique Wally Schirra.

Gilbert
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posted 05-03-2007 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is sad news. Wally was always my favorite. What a loss.

Hawkman
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posted 05-03-2007 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkman   Click Here to Email Hawkman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A REAL hero to me and many others. I'm an truly honored to have met him and am deeply saddened by his passing.

James Brown
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posted 05-03-2007 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed Wally Schirra.

PowerCat
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posted 05-03-2007 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PowerCat   Click Here to Email PowerCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Godspeed, Wally! One remembers the many "gotcha" stories from Dee O'Hara. You will be greatly missed.

ea757grrl
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posted 05-03-2007 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The older I get, the more my heroes disappear. Godspeed, Wally. I love all the Original Seven, but you were always my guy.

413 is in
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posted 05-03-2007 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 413 is in   Click Here to Email 413 is in     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Joe Holloway
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posted 05-03-2007 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Holloway   Click Here to Email Joe Holloway     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just learned this news with the deepest of sadness.

From a distance, I got to see Captain Schirra in person at the Apollo news center years ago. He's one of those larger-than-life characters whom you wish you could have talked to at length.

Fair winds and following seas, Wally.

sts205cdr
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posted 05-03-2007 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sts205cdr   Click Here to Email sts205cdr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Blue skies, Skyray.

Peter S
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posted 05-03-2007 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter S   Click Here to Email Peter S     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A sad day... we've lost another Hero... Godspeed Wally!

rjurek349
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posted 05-03-2007 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for rjurek349   Click Here to Email rjurek349     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Like so many others, I will miss his humor and genuine humaness! Very sad news, indeed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

divemaster
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posted 05-03-2007 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for divemaster   Click Here to Email divemaster     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A dear, personal friend. A pleasure to work with. A delightful man who took me into his personal life.

And I'm sure he's laughing like hell at me right now, because since the news of his passing, the server that hosts WallySchirra.Com has had a complete meltdown due to the overwhelming amount of hits. Everyone loves Wally.

Rob Joyner
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posted 05-03-2007 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally was the very first astronaut I met. I'll remember that handshake forever.
Today is a sad day indeed.

Moonwalker1954
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posted 05-03-2007 11:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moonwalker1954   Click Here to Email Moonwalker1954     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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micropooz
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posted 05-03-2007 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for micropooz   Click Here to Email micropooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I remember after the autograph show in New Jersey a couple of years ago, Wally showed up at the hotel bar and sat down with a bunch of us. I can't imagine too many (if any) other astronauts that would have sat down for a drink with a bunch of space geeks like us. I'll always treasure that memory...

Matt T
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posted 05-03-2007 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt T   Click Here to Email Matt T     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A life lived fully if ever there was one. Keep those fond memories coming in folks!

KSCartist
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posted 05-03-2007 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had the pleasure of meeting Wally Schirra at the HOF in 1992 and 1997. Always a gracious guy. In 1992 when he posed for a photo with me he was just finishing chewing a bite of food - and flash the picture was taken. In 1997 I reminded him how our first photo didn't quite turn out as I hoped so he pulled me over to Sigma 7 and we posed again. I keep them both.

Godspeed Wally and thank you for your service to our country and space program. My prayers for your family.

This Saturday at the HOF Induction I'm going to wear a turtle on my shirt in his honor.

YBYSAIA

icarkie
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posted 05-03-2007 11:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for icarkie   Click Here to Email icarkie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm so sad to here about Wally Passing away. One of the greats who had The Right Stuff. My thoughts and prayers to his family...

Aztecdoug
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posted 05-03-2007 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Wally, where ever you are up there... Thanks for sharing a few moments of your life here and there with me. I will treasure those moments for the rest of my days.

Oh yeah, and I will raise a glass of Chardonnay in your honor. Cheers!

Richard
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posted 05-03-2007 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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astroborg
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posted 05-03-2007 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for astroborg   Click Here to Email astroborg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What an outstanding mix of humor and seriousness, while striving for excellence; similar, yet so different from Pete Conrad.

Jake
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posted 05-03-2007 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jake   Click Here to Email Jake     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sadness indeed...

Wally signed an artist's image of the mercury splashdown for me a number of years ago. He commented that a number of the boats he owned were named SPLASHDOWN.

Let's hope that he will forever enjoy a "happy and peaceful splashdown".

lunarrv15
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posted 05-03-2007 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lunarrv15   Click Here to Email lunarrv15     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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NavySpaceFan
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posted 05-03-2007 12:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fair winds and following seas, Captain Schirra.

LoneStarScouter
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posted 05-03-2007 12:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LoneStarScouter   Click Here to Email LoneStarScouter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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redstorm63
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posted 05-03-2007 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for redstorm63   Click Here to Email redstorm63     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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gliderpilotuk
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posted 05-03-2007 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had the pleasure of meeting both Gordo and Wally at Burbank - what a classy team. Very sad that Wally has passed on. My sympathy to his family.

mdmyer
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posted 05-03-2007 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mdmyer   Click Here to Email mdmyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wally was very kind to Miranda and myself. We had only meet him twice but those were so special that Miranda and I had decided that we would try to set with him at the Cape show.

I dread having to tell Miranda that his is gone. We will both cherish our brief time with him.

All of our best wishes to his family.

Madon_space
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posted 05-03-2007 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Madon_space   Click Here to Email Madon_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just heard this very sad news and would just like to echo what everyone else has already said.

I have never met any of these space heroes in person but i have always felt that i know them.

Thank you for being you. RIP

mikepf
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posted 05-03-2007 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sad news. Wally is one of my biggest heroes. It was a great honor and pleasure to meet him in Burbank. My sadness is only relieved by imagining what kind of gotcha Alan Shepard has been preparing for him up there.

Saturn V
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posted 05-03-2007 12:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Saturn V     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Wally, for all you have done for our/your country. We will miss you. God bless Wally Shirra.

ejectr
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posted 05-03-2007 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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