October 11, 1968 – Apollo 7 launches into orbit
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 11, 1968, Schirra became the first man to fly in space three times on his final flight as commander of Apollo 7, the first manned flight in the Apollo program, which occurred after a fatal fire during tests of Apollo 1. The three-man crew, including Donn Eisele and Walter Cunningham, spent eleven days in earth orbit, performed rendezvous exercises with the upper stage of the Saturn 1-B launch vehicle that rocketed them into space and provided the first live television pictures from inside a U.S. manned spacecraft (other than an experimental broadcast during the flight of Gordon Cooper) for which he received an Emmy.
During the Apollo 7 mission, Schirra caught what was perhaps the most famous cold in NASA history. He took Actifed to relieve his symptoms upon the advice of the flight surgeon. His grumpy behaviour served as a distraction to the flight controllers and this behaviour may have led him to never fly in space again. His crew never flew in space again as well. Years later, he became a spokesman for Actifed and would appear in television commercials advertising the product.”