« Book Review: The Scientific Conquest of Death | Main | Sailing To Mars »

Farewell, Gordo

The death of one of America's space pioneers got lost in the news of SpaceShipOne's triumph.:

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The last of the seven Project Mercury astronauts who pioneered U.S. space exploration in the 1960s remembered one of their own as a fearless pilot with the "right stuff" in an emotional memorial ceremony on Friday for Gordon Cooper.

"Gordo has scrambled, he's out there ahead of us with Gus and Al and Deke, and I'm sure we'll all rendezvous out there someday," [former astronaut and US Senator John Glenn] said, referring to late Mercury astronauts Gus Grissom, Alan Shephard and Deke Slayton.

Cooper was part of two important missions. As part of Project Mercury, his Faith 7 (launch shown above) capsule completed 22 orbits of the Earth. In 1965, he flew on Gemini 5, which orbited the Earth for eight days, setting a new record for space flight duration.

Thanks, Gordo. We'll miss you.

Post a comment