Wally Schirra became the fifth American in space, making the third orbital flight of the Mercury program. Schirra piloted his Sigma 7 capsule on a six-orbit mission – lasting more than nine hours – on Oct. 3, 1962.
(Image: © NASA/RetroSpaceImages.com via collectSPACE.com)

In 1962 on this date, the Mercury spacecraft Sigma 7 was launched. Aboard the craft, Astronaut Walter M. “Wally” Schirra completed nearly six orbits of the Earth, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean some 9 hours, 13 minutes after liftoff. A biography of Schirra, along with descriptions of all his spaceflights, was published on the 40th anniversary of the Sigma 7 flight; it may be found at NASA’s pages here.