Apollo 7 was a 1968 human spaceflight mission carried out by the United States of America.
It was the first mission in the United States’ Apollo program to carry a crew into space. It was also the first U.S. spaceflight to carry astronauts since the flight of Gemini XII in November 1966. The AS-204 mission, also known as “Apollo 1”, was intended to be the first manned flight of the Apollo program, scheduled to launch in February 1967. However, a fire in the cabin during a January 1967 test killed the crew. Manned flights were then suspended for 19 months, while the cause of the accident was investigated, and improvements were made to the spacecraft and safety procedures. Apollo 7 essentially fulfilled Apollo 1’s mission.
The Apollo 7 crew was commanded by Walter M. Schirra, with Command Module Pilot Donn F. Eisele, and Lunar Module Pilot R. Walter Cunningham. Their mission was Apollo’s ‘C’ mission, an 11-day Earth-orbital test flight to check out the redesigned Block II Apollo Command/Service Module (CSM) with a crew on board. It was the first launch of a Saturn IB vehicle to put a crew into space, the first three-person American space mission, and the first live TV broadcast from an American spacecraft. It was successfully launched on October 11, 1968, from what was then known as Cape Kennedy Air Force Station, Florida. Despite tension between the crew and ground controllers, the mission was a complete technical success, giving NASA the confidence to launch Apollo 8 around the Moon two months later. However, the flight would prove to be the last NASA space flight for all of its three crew members when it splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on October 22, 1968. It was also the final manned launch from Cape Kennedy Air Force Station.