More than 220 space enthusiasts heard Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham’s perspectives on the past, present and future of manned space flight in a public discussion on Jan. 5 at University of Houston-Clear Lake. The lecture kicked off the 2017 season of the university’s Clear Lake Association of Senior Programs “Visions in Our Midst” Distinguished Speaker Series. Cunningham, far right, and his wife, Dot, posed with CLASP Speaker Series Chair and UHCL Distinguished Alumna Marilyn K. Lunney (second from right), and her husband, retired NASA engineer Glynn S. Lunney, who was flight director during the Gemini and Apollo programs and later, manager of the space shuttle program. The 11-day mission of Apollo 7 in 1968 in a newly redesigned command module set the stage for the 1969 moon landing of Apollo 11.
“Today, Apollo 7 is still the longest, most ambitious and most successful first test flight of any new flying machine,” Cunningham said.