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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Passing of a Hero

I don't usually make 2 posts in one day but..today I learned that one of our Original Astronauts, Wally Schirra, passed away. He was 84 years old. He died of natural causes.

I have a difficult time reading that he's gone. The Original Astronauts of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions are my personal heroes.

I was so in aww of these men when I got to see them at a Convention, that I broke down and cried. (you can see photo's I took here.) My heart pounded so loud when I looked around the room at so many of them that I thought they'd all think that I was about to pass out!

I remember like it was yesterday, running home from High School to either watch a blast-off or a splash-down. (in those days they landed in the water) I always, always, cried when I watched them. I think it was just relief that they got off safe, or landed safe, but I couldn't get enough of watching them.

I was up in the middle of the night when we landed on the moon. I even woke my 2 yr old son to watch... like he'd know what he was seeing?! They were my heroes then and remain so even today.

So today is a sad day indeed. I don't think I will see the likes of them again in my lifetime... although I do think there will be others to be the first to live on the moon, or go farther into space, I know there will be more heroes.


Wally Schirra


This does not take away from what today's Astronauts are doing. It's just that Wally was one of the Originals, one of the people going out there to where no man has gone before, for REAL!

I, for one, will miss knowing he's still with us. He may be gone, but he will still remain one of my heroes.

Wally Schirra was a New Jersey boy and was the fifth American in space (Mercury 8) and the only astronaut to have flown Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. On 3 October 1962, Schirra manned the diminutive Mercury 8, completing all mission objectives, including 6 orbits around the Earth covering 143,983 miles at 17,558 miles per hour. The mission lasted more than 9 hours. On 15 December 1965, Schirra made his second space flight, on Gemini 6a, a mission notable both for the steel nerves of Commander Schirra and pilot Thomas Stafford (riding out earlier failed launches) and the close vehicular syncronization achieved during their rendezvous with the Gemini 7 craft crewed by Jim Lovell and Frank Borman. Schirra made his final space flight on 11 October 1968 as commander of Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo flight following the fatal Apollo 1 test disaster. Another rendezvous mission, Apollo 7, saw Schirra and crew members Donn Eisele and Walter Cunningham synching up their craft with the Saturn 1-B launch vehicle. The mission provided the first televised pictures from a U.S. spacecraft.

If you want to read more of Wally Schirra he has a book out called Schirra's Space, which can be found on Amazon.com.


1 Comments:

Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Lovely tribute, Pat...I too remember all the space missioons and "the firsts" that were astounding and awesome in the true meaning of that word...They were indeed, ALL Hero's. And I remember how attractive they all were, too...Amazing men doing an AMAZING job! May Wally Schirra RIP.

11:58 AM  

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