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Home > NASA Space Photos > Apollo Portraits - Individual NASA Astronauts
NASA Apollo 7 Astronaut - Walter 'Walt' Cunningham
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NASA Apollo 7 Astronaut - Walter Cunningham

EXPERIENCE: Cunningham joined the Navy in 1951 and began his flight training in 1952. In 1953 he joined a Marine squadron and served on active duty with the United States Marine Corps until August 1956 and in the Marine Corps Reserve program until 1975. His present rank is Colonel, USMCR (Retired).

He worked as a scientist for the Rand Corporation prior to joining NASA. While with Rand, he worked on classified defense studies and problems of the earth's magnetosphere.

He has accumulated more than 4,500 hours of flying time, including more than 3,400 in jet aircraft and 263 hours in space.

Mr. Cunningham was one of the third group of astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963.

On October 11, 1968, he occupied the lunar module pilot seat for the eleven-day flight of Apollo 7--the first manned flight test of the third generation United States spacecraft. With Walter M. Schirra, Jr., and Donn F. Eisele, Cunningham participated in and executed maneuvers enabling the crew to perform exercises in transposition and docking and lunar orbit rendezvous with the S-IVB stage of their Saturn IB launch vehicle; completed eight successful test and maneuvering ignitions of the service module propulsion engine; measured the accuracy of performance of all spacecraft systems; and provided the first live television transmission of onboard crew activities. The 263-hour, four-and-a-half million mile shakedown flight was successfully concluded on October 22, 1968, with splashdown occurring in the Atlantic--some eight miles from the carrier ESSEX (only 3/10 of a mile from the originally predicted aiming point).

Mr. Cunningham's last assignment at the Johnson Space Center was Chief of the Skylab Branch of the Flight Crew Directorate. In this capacity he was responsible for the operational inputs for five major pieces of manned space hardware, two different launch vehicles and 56 major on-board experiments that comprised the Skylab program. The Skylab program also utilized the first manned systems employing arrays for electrical power, molecular sieves for environmental control systems and inertia storage devices for attitude control systems.

1986-Present The Genesis Fund; Managing General Partner. The Genesis Fund is a $16 million venture capital pool, which makes equity investments in early stage, technology oriented companies.

1979-1987 The Capital Group; Founder. A private investment firm catering to the particular needs of non-resident investors. The firm engaged in venture capital activities, addressing the financial needs of start-up and development stage companies and the acquisition of investment property.

1972-Present Investor and Entrepreneur. Residential and commercial real estate investor. Initiated a small business start-up with $2,000, which achieved revenues in excess of $1,000,000. Organizer of two national bank charters and outside, professional director of several technology companies.

1976-1979 3D International; Senior Vice President, Director. Directed the Engineering Division of this international architectural, engineering, and project management firm, with extensive operations in the Middle East. Effected a successful turn-around through modern management techniques.

1974-1976 Hydrotech Development Company; President. A high technology offshore engineering company, manufacturing a proprietary line of sub-sea pipeline connectors. Managed the preliminary design of an unmanned, remotely operated, pipeline repair system for use at water depths of 4,000 feet.

1971-1974 Century Development Corporation; Senior Vice President. Responsible for the operation of 5,000,000 square feet of commercial properties and service companies furnishing maintenance, parking and security services.

1968-1971 NASA/Chief, Skylab Branch of the Astronaut Office. Coordinated the operational development, system integration and habitability of all Skylab Space Station hardware (included 5 manned modules, 2 launch vehicles and 56 major experiments). Skylab was the first manned space application of photo-voltaic electric power, inertial storage devices for attitude control and molecular sieves for environmental control.

1963-1971 NASA; Astronaut. Pilot on the first manned mission of the Apollo Program (Apollo 7, 11 days in space). Played a key role in all aspects of manned space flight including training, planning, systems design, testing operational support, space flight, analysis of results, public relations, and program management.

1960-1963 The RAND Corporation; Physicist. Performed studies of the earth's magnetosphere and classified projects for the Department of Defense.

1951-1976 U.S. Marine Corps; Presently holds the rank of Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps - Retired, with 4,500 hours pilot time, including 263 hours in space.

No recent data available.

Official 8" x 10" Full Colour Portrait of NASA Astronaut Walter Cunningham

The image is cropped from that shown to achieve the appropriate photographic dimensions.


This is a borderless 8 x 10 Photograph on Fuji/Kodak Paper. The actual print is sharper and more detailed than on the online image. This is a superior quality photograph, suitable for autographing, matting or framing. Great for collecting the autographs of the astronauts.