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Apollo VII CM Returns

The Apollo VII Command Module
Comes Home to Texas

I was present on May 5, 2004, for the installation of the historic Apollo 7 Command Module (CM 101) at Dallas' Frontiers of Flight Museum, where I have been a board member for many years.  The spacecraft, one of the premier exhibits at the Museum, is on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

My wife, Dot, and I worked to obtain the Apollo 7 command module for the museum. I was enthusiastic about returning the spacecraft to Texas, but it was Dot who persisted in a three year campaign to get it released from a museum in Ontario, Canada. The museum staff and a wonderful new facility convinced the Smithsonian Institution that CM 101 would have a fine home in Dallas.  Now, when I feel nostalgic, I can just pop into the museum and reminisce about what the Apollo program accomplished.

Apollo 7, the first manned flight of the Apollo program, lifted off from Cape Kennedy on October 11, 1968, carrying Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele and myself.  This was the first flight test of the redesigned command module after the fatal launch pad fire of January 27, 1967. We performed all the critical tests of spacecraft systems necessary for "wringing out" a new generation of spacecraft.  The mission's objective was to check the performance of the crew, prime and backup spacecraft systems, and mission support facilities. Following splashdown, the mission was described by NASA management as a "101 percent success." 

Apollo 7 is also known for the first live television broadcasts from a American manned spacecraft.  

The Museum's new 100,000-square-foot facility is located at the Southeast corner of Dallas' Love Field.  It features a historic collection of airplanes, both civilian and military, aircraft models, rare aviation artifacts, period photos and memorabilia.  For more information, visit www.flightmuseum.com


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