One major problem in the spacecraft was condensation caused by uninsulated cold coolant lines; the crew's solution was to vacuum the water into space with the urine dump hose, according to NASA. Another, smaller health issue arose with the crew: they experienced sore muscles, but exercising with a resistance band helped relieve the symptoms, Muir-Harmony said. NASA still uses resistance exercise equipment on board the International Space Station to help astronauts stay healthy today.
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Overall, the Apollo 7 spacecraft was a success that made it possible for a more daring mission to the moon just over two months after Apollo 7's landing.
That celebrated mission, Apollo 8, is well-remembered among space enthusiasts. The crew of Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders launched on Dec. 21, 1968 and orbited the moon during Christmas Eve. On live TV, they read passages from the Bible and described the scenery below. Then on Dec. 27, the crew splashed down safely in the Pacific.
Only seven months after Apollo 8, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of Apollo 11 made the first bootprints on the moon. Americans had arrived on the moon first, before the Soviet Union — which ultimately abandoned the quest. Armstrong and Aldrin's short extravehicular activity on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969 captured the attention of millions of people around the world. To this day, Armstrong's name is still widely known among Americans.
But it was Apollo 7's Schirra, Cunningham, and Eisele who helped NASA gain the experience it needed to bring future crews to the moon.