Topics: Space Exploration - The Apollo 7 The Apollo 7

Apollo 7 Flight Summary

October 11-22, 1968

Spacecraft: Saturn 1B (AS-205, CSM-101)

Command Module: CM-101, mass 14,781 kg

Service Module: SM-101

Booster: Saturn IB SA-205

Launch pad: LC-34, Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, U.S.

Launch date: October 11, 1968, 15:02:45 UTC

Landing: October 22, 1968, 11:11:48 UTC

27°32′N 64°04′W / 27.533°N 64.067°W / 27.533; -64.067 (Apollo 7 splashdown)

Mission duration: 10 d 20 h 09 m 03 s

Number of orbits: 163

Apogee: 297 km

Perigee: 231 km

Orbital period: 89.78 m

Orbital inclination: 31.63°

Apollo 7 was a confidence-builder. After the January 1967 Apollo launch pad fire, the Apollo Command Module had been extensively redesigned. Schirra, the only astronaut to fly Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions, commanded this Earth-orbital shakedown of the Command and Service Modules. With no lunar lander, Apollo 7 was able to use the Saturn IB booster rather than the giant Saturn V. The Apollo hardware and all mission operations worked without any significant problems, and the Service Propulsion System (SPS)—the all-important engine that would place Apollo in and out of lunar orbit—made eight nearly perfect firings. Even though Apollo’s larger cabin was more comfortable than Gemini’s, eleven days in orbit took its toll on the astronauts. The food was bad, and all three developed colds. But their mission proved the spaceworthiness of the basic Apollo vehicle. The Apollo 7
Apollo 7 insignia