Cooper, Gordon, 1927-2004Alternative names
Gordon Cooper (b. March 6, 1927-d. Oct. 4, 2004) was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He was selected as a Mercury astronaut in April 1959, and on May 15-16, 1963, he piloted the "Faith 7" spacecraft on a 22-orbit mission which concluded the operational phase of Project Mercury. He later served as command pilot of the 8-day 120-revolution Gemini 5 mission which began on August 21, 1965. It was on this flight that he and pilot Charles Conrad established a new space endurance record by traveling a distance of 3,312,993 miles in an elapsed time of 190 hours and 56 minutes. Cooper also became the first man to make a second orbital flight and thus won for the United States the lead in man-hours in space. He served as backup command pilot for Gemini 12 and as backup commander for Apollo X. Cooper retired from the Air Force and NASA in 1970.
From the description of Cooper, Gordon, 1927-2004 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10567925
- Manned space flight--Safety measures