Apollo 7 was the first manned mission in the Apollo program to be launched. It was an eleven-day Earth-orbital mission, the first manned launch of the Saturn IB launch vehicle, and the first three-person American space mission. The crew consisted of Mission Commander Walter M. Schirra, Command Module Pilot Donn F. Eisele, and Lunar Module Pilot R. Walter Cunningham. The mission was intended as a test flight of the newly redesigned command module. Accordingly, it flew low around the Earth so its crew could track life-support systems, the propulsion systems and the control systems. Despite emotional tension amongst the crew the mission was a technical success, which led NASA to launch Apollo 8 just two months later.
Launch date: October 11, 1968 15:02:45 UTC
Landing: October 22, 1968 11:11:48 UTC
Measured 4 inches (10.16 cm) across.