Astronaut Wally Schirra dies

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Obits

One of the original seven Mercury astronauts, Walter Schirra Jr., has died of a heart attack at the age of 84.

As a kid, I watched every launch of the Atlas rockets that carried six of the seven astronauts, including Schirra. But what I will remember most about Schirra is not his space missions or the movies that showed his sense of humor, like the "Right Stuff.'' Instead, I will remember Schirra for where he was when we landed on the moon, July 16, 1969. He was the expert commentator with CBS newsman Walter Cronkite. As the Eagle carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down in the Sea of Tranquility, Cronkite turned to Schirra and said, as I remember it: "Say something Wally, I'm speechless.''

I was, too.

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Wally Schirra, original Mercury 7 astronaut, dead at 84