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In Memory of Astronaut Wally Schirra

San Diego resident and former astronaut Wally Schirra passed away last week at the age of 84. We've edited a past interview between host Tom Fudge, writer David Reynolds, and Wally Schirra about the

In Memory of Astronaut Wally Schirra

Alison St John (Guest Host): Wally Schirra was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts. He died last week in San Diego at the age of 84. The only man to fly on all three of NASA's early space missions, he helped pave the way for man's first steps on the moon. A true pioneer of space flight, in 1962, Schirra became the third American to orbit the Earth, circling the globe six times during a nine-hour flight. He will be remembered for his courage and conviction tempered with humility and humor.

Schirra spent the last years of his life in Rancho Santa Fe. Five years ago, These Days host Tom Fudge spoke with Schirra and writer David Reynolds about the technology and vision that went into the Apollo missions and whether the U.S. space program will ever match the wonder and passion of its early days. 


As a tribute to Wally Schirra, we leave you today with an edited version of that May 16th, 2002 interview that began with Tom asking Schirra if he remembered what it felt like to sit on top of a rocket about to push him up into space.


  • Wally Schirra , astronaut with Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Space Programs. He was the mission commander for Apollo 7.Schirra lived in Rancho Santa Fe and died at the age of 84.