October 19, 2021
Donn Fulton Eisele (Columbus, June 23, 1930—Tokyo, December 2, 1987) was an American astronaut, a crew of Apollo 7, the first manned mission of the Apollo Program to go into space. A graduate of the US Naval Academy and an Air Force pilot, Eisele joined NASA in 1963 and in December 1968, along with astronauts Walter Schirra and Walter Cunningham, participated in the Apollo 7 mission, staying in Earth orbit for eleven days, performing intensive training and testing with the new equipment, aiming at future Apollo Lunar missions. During this mission, live images of astronauts actually working in space were transmitted to Earth for the first time. In July 1972, he left NASA and joined the US Army Peace Corps in Thailand as regional director. After this position, Eisele moved into the private sector and it was in this activity that he died of a heart attack during a business trip to Tokyo, Japan.