The last of a rare breed is gone.
The only remaining astronaut from the Apollo 7 mission has passed away.
Walter Cunningham was 90 years old.
A Different Time
Space travel is clearly still dangerous, but not like it was when NASA first launched the space program.
Nowadays, if you have enough money, you can head into space for a quick orbit and be back in time for dinner.
Back then, there were more problems than solutions, and these men were literally strapping themselves on to a rocket having no idea if they would ever make it back.
Cunningham was part of Apollo 7, the first manned flight into space.
Upon his passing, NASA stated, "Today we mourn the passing of Walt Cunningham: U.S. Marine, patriot, and Apollo astronaut. Cunningham spent 11 days in low-Earth orbit during Apollo 7, the first crewed Apollo flight, and was instrumental to our Moon landing's program success."
The Apollo 7 mission was flown in 1968 and had a crew of three men.
The crew was in space for 11 full days, setting the stage for the first moon landing about a year later.
During a 1999 interview, Cunningham stated, "All I remember is just kind of keeping my nose to the grindstone and wanting to do the best I could as — I didn't realize at the time, but that was because I always wanted to be better prepared for the next step. I've always been looking to the future."
Cunningham joined the space program in 1963, part of the third class of astronauts in the program.
The Cunningham family thanked everyone for their support, stating, "We would like to express our immense pride in the life that he lived, and our deep gratitude for the man that he was – a patriot, an explorer, pilot, astronaut, husband, brother, and father.
"The world has lost another true hero, and we will miss him dearly."
Source: Fox News