Walter Marty "Wally" Schirra Jr., was an American naval aviator and astronaut. He was one of the original seven astronauts chosen for Project Mercury, the first effort by the United States to put human beings in space. On October 3, 1962, he flew the six-orbit, nine-hour, Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, in a spacecraft he nicknamed Sigma 7, becoming the fifth American, and ninth human, to travel to space. In the two-man Gemini program, he achieved the first space rendezvous, station-keeping his Gemini 6A spacecraft within 1 foot of the sister Gemini 7 spacecraft in December 1965. In October 1968, he commanded Apollo 7, an 11-day low Earth orbit shakedown test of the three-man Apollo Command/Service Module. He was the first person to go into space three times, and the only person to have flown in Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo, logging a total of 295 hours and 15 minutes in space. After Apollo 7 he retired from the U.S. Navy with the rank of captain and from NASA, becoming a consultant to CBS News for its coverage of the subsequent Apollo flights. He joined Walter Cronkite as co-anchor for the seven Moon landing missions.