Walter Marty Schirra Jr.
Schirra, Walter Marty, Jr. (1923– ), U.S. astronaut, 1959–69. Schirra, whose parents were both stunt fliers, attended the U.S. Navel Academy and flew combat missions in the Korean War. In 1959 he became one of the 7 original U.S. astronauts. In his first mission in the Mercury space program, Oct. 3, 1962, he circled the earth 6 times in Sigma 7. He and Thomas P. Stafford piloted Gemini 6 in the first space rendezvous (with Gemini 7, Dec. 15, 1965) and was command pilot for Apollo 7 (Oct. 11–22, 1968). Schirra retired from the Navy and the space program and entered private business in 1969.