This Aug. 5 1968 image was taken aboard the MV Retriever in the Gulf of Mexico, where the Apollo 7 crew, Walter Schirra, Walter Cunningham and Donn Eisele practiced water egress procedures in preparation for the October 1968 mission.
Apollo 7, the first crewed Apollo space mission, was an engineering test flight. Its primary objectives were to demonstrate the command and service module, or CSM, and crew performance; crew, space vehicle and mission support facilities performance during a crewed CSM mission; and CSM rendezvous capability.
Apollo 7 accomplished what it set out to do—qualifying the command and service module, and clearing the way for the proposed lunar orbit mission to follow.
Less than five months after this photo was taken, the Apollo 8 crew was in orbit and circumnavigating the moon.
Explore further: NASA image: Mission Control, Houston, April 13, 1970