October 3, 1962 – Sigma 7 launches into orbit, Mercury-Atlas 8
Walter Marty Schirra, Jr. (March 12, 1923 – May 3, 2007) was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts chosen for the Project Mercury, America’s first effort to put men in space. He was the only man to fly in all of America’s first three space programs (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo). He flew on Mercury 8, Gemini 6A and Apollo 7.
“On October 3, 1962, Schirra became the fifth American in space, piloting the Mercury 8 (Sigma 7) on a six-orbit mission lasting 9 hours, 13 minutes, and 11 seconds. The capsule attained a velocity of 17,557 miles per hour and an altitude of 175 statute miles, and landed within four miles of the main Pacific Ocean recovery ship.”