Apollo 7 astronaut Cunningham dies – NASA

Apollo 7 astronaut Cunningham dies – NASA

FORMER National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Walter Cunningham died at the age of 90 on Tuesday.

The deceased was reported to have complications after falling, in Houston, Texas, United States (US), in the early hours of Tuesday morning local time.

“We are very proud of the success we have achieved so far.

“He was a national defender, an explorer, a pilot, an astronaut, a husband, a brother and a father.

“The world has lost another hero and we will miss him dearly,” the family said in a statement.

Cunningham participated in a mission to space aboard Apollo 7, the first rocket in NASA’s Apollo Program to be manned in 1968.

The 11-day mission around the earth is an important program before NASA launches a mission to the moon.

“Cunningham was a fighter jet pilot, a physicist and also an entrepreneur. But most importantly, he was an explorer.

“NASA will always remember his contributions to our nation’s space program and we all offer our condolences to his family,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

Cunningham was born on March 16, 1932 in Creston, Iowa, USA.

He attended Venice High School, California before continuing his studies at the University of California.

Cunningham later received a doctorate in physics at the Harvard Graduate School of Business in 1974.

After that the deceased became a US Marine Corps fighter jet pilot in 1951 and participated in 54 missions to Korea.

After retiring from the military, he became a scientist at the Rand Corporation studying the Earth’s magnetosphere.

In 1963, Cunningham was selected as an astronaut to join the NASA program.

He retired from NASA in 1971.

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