Apollo 12 astronaut Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon passes away at 88


Derek Richardson

November seventh, 2017

Richard "Dick" Gordon in front of a lunar module trainer. Photo Credit: NASA

Richard “Dick” Gordon in entrance of a lunar module coach in 1969. Photo Credit: NASA

Former astronaut Richard Francis “Dick” Gordon, one among 24 individuals to fly to the Moon, died on November 6, 2017, in his dwelling in California, in accordance with a press release issued by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation. He was 88.

Gordon first flew to low-Earth orbit in 1966 as a part of the Gemini 11 crew after which to low-lunar orbit in 1969 for Apollo 12. On the latter, he stayed alone within the Apollo command module whereas his two crewmates, Pete Conrad and Alan Bean, flew to the floor of the Moon within the lunar module.

“NASA and the nation have lost one of our early space pioneers,” mentioned performing NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot in a badertion. “We send our condolences to the family and loved ones of the Gemini and Apollo astronaut Richard Gordon, a hero from NASA’s third clbad of astronauts.”

Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1929, Gordon graduated from North Kitsap High faculty in Poulsbo, Washington, in 1947, in accordance with NASA, earlier than receiving a bachelors diploma in chemistry from the University of Washington in 1951.

Dick Gordon, center, with his two Apollo 12 crew mates Pete Conrad, left, and Alan Bean. Photo Credit: NASA

Dick Gordon, heart, along with his two Apollo 12 crewmates Pete Conrad, left, and Alan Bean. Photo Credit: NASA

Selected by NASA in October of 1963, Gordon joined 14 others as a part of the house company’s third group of astronauts. He had greater than Four,500 flying hours within the U.S. Navy, in accordance with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, and served because the pilot of Gemini 11 and command module pilot for Apollo 12. In whole, he had 13 days, three hours and 53 minutes of spaceflight expertise with 2 hours, 41 minutes of spacewalking time throughout two spacewalks on his first spaceflight.

“Naval officer, aviator, chemist, test pilot, and astronaut were among the many hats of this talented and daring explorer,” Lightfoot mentioned. “Dick was [the] pilot of Gemini 11 in 1966, on which he carried out a spacewalk the place he tethered the Gemini and Agena collectively for the very first try at creating synthetic gravity by rotating spacecraft. He was additionally command module pilot for Apollo 12, the second manned mission to land on the Moon. While his crewmates Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed within the Ocean of Storms, he remained in lunar orbit aboard the Yankee Clipper, taking images for potential future touchdown websites and later performing closing re-docking maneuvers.”

After he retired from NASA in January 1972, he went on to function the chief vp of the New Orleans Saints Professional Football Club within the National Football League in addition to different government positions at a number of corporations within the oil and gasoline, engineering, and expertise industries, NASA mentioned.

“Dick Gordon is an American hero, and a true renaissance man by any measure,” Curt Brown, board chairman of the Orlando-based Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and an astronaut and veteran of six house flights, mentioned in a press release on the inspiration’s web site. “He was an American naval officer and aviator, chemist, test pilot, NASA astronaut, professional football executive, oil and gas executive[,] and [a] generous contributor to worthy causes. He was in a category all his own.”

In November 2005, NASA mentioned that the house company honored Gordon with an Ambbadador of Exploration award, which was given to the astronauts who flew in Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions between 1961 and 1972.

“Dick will be fondly remembered as one of our nation’s boldest flyers, a man who added to our own nation’s capabilities by challenging his own,” Lightfoot mentioned. “He will be missed.”

There is little doubt that Gordon’s humorousness might be what number of of his colleagues will finest keep in mind him by.

“I was very sorry to hear about the pbading of Dick Gordon. Although not a close friend, I had numerous opportunities to be at technical seminars or social events with Dick,” former NASA astronaut Robert C. Springer informed SpaceFlight Insider. “As Naval aviators, we shared the joy of our flight experiences. I particularly enjoyed his rare sense of humor, which could be both biting and insightful. Dick was a true professional who shall be missed by our spaceflight community.”

Indeed, for some house flyers, Gordon’s pbading was the lack of a guiding gentle for them when it comes to their careers past Earth’s environment.

“[…] Dick always knew how to make someone laugh and he was one of my personal heroes,” five-time Space Shuttle veteran Scott Parazynski informed SpaceFlight Insider. Gordon’s humorousness was one thing additionally famous by Jerry Ross and by different astronauts that we spoke to in regards to the Gemini and Apollo astronaut. In reality, whomever SFI spoke to, the sentiment was the identical: a very good man, with an ideal humorousness.

Richard F. Gordon Jr.

Dick Gordon is photographed throughout a debriefing within the quarantine van aboard the USS Hornet, following the tip of the Apollo 12 mission on Nov. 26, 1969. Photo & Caption Credit: NASA


Tagged: Apollo 12 Dick Gordon Gemini 11 Lead Stories NASA Urgent

Derek Richardson

Derek Richardson has a level in mbad media, with an emphasis in modern journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the coed run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He additionally has a weblog in regards to the International Space Station, known as Orbital Velocity. He met with members of the SpaceFlight Insider workforce in the course of the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with the MUOS-Four satellite tv for pc. Richardson joined our workforce shortly thereafter.

His ardour for house ignited when he watched Space Shuttle Discovery launch into house Oct. 29, 1998. Today, this fervor has accelerated towards orbit and exhibits no indicators of slowing down. After dabbling in math and engineering programs in faculty, he quickly realized his true calling was speaking to others about house. Since becoming a member of SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has labored to extend the standard of our content material, finally turning into our managing editor. @TheSpaceAuthor

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