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Leroy Gordon (Gordo) Cooper Jr Status: Inactive. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Six. Birth Date: 06 March 1927. Birth City: Shawnee. Birth State: Oklahoma. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1959 NASA Group. Date Selected: 02 April 1959. Departed: 1967. Number of Flights: 2. Total Time: 9.39 days.

Official NASA Biography

NAME: Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr., Colonel USAF (Ret.)

NASA Astronaut

BIRTHPLACE: Shawnee, Oklahoma, March 6, 1927

PARENTS: Father - Leroy Gordon Cooper, Sr. - deceased Mother - Hattie Cooper - Resides in Carbondale, Colorado

PHYSICAL DATA: Brown hair, blue eyes, 5 ft. 8 in., 155 lbs.

EDUCATION: Primary and Secondary Schools: Shawnee, Oklahoma; Murray, Kentucky

Colleges: University of Hawaii University of Maryland - European Extension U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology

Advanced Level: Eleven years graduate level training in Space Technology, Space Mechanics, Lunar Geology, Spacecraft Design, Spacecraft Check Out and Flight Testing with NASA

Degrees: B.S.A.E. - Air Force Institute of Technology Dr. of Science - Oklahoma City University

Other Schools: Graduate of U.S.A.F. Jet Pilot School, Graduate of U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team School, Graduate of U.S.N. Helicopter School

HOBBIES: Treasure hunting, archeology, racing, flying, skiing, boating, hunting, fishing

ORGANIZATIONS: The Society of Experimental Test Pilots, The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics The American Astronautical Society, The Blue Lodge Masons, The York Rite Masons, The Scottish Rite Masons, The Royal Order of Jesters, The Sojourners, The Rotary Club, The Daedalians, The Confederate Air Force, The Boy Scouts of America, The Girl Scouts of America.

AWARDS AND TROPHIES: The Air Force Legion of Merit, The Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, The Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross Cluster, The NASA Exceptional Service Medal, The NASA Distinguished Service Medal, USAF Command Astronaut Wings, The Collier Trophy, The Harmon Trophy, The Scottish Rite 33o, The York Rite Knight of the Purple Cross, The DeMolay Legion of Honor, The John F. Kennedy Trophy, The Ivan E. Kincheloe Trophy, The Air Force Association Trophy, The Primus Trophy, The John Montgomery Trophy, The General Thomas E. White Trophy, The Association of Aviation Writers Award, The University of Hawaii Regents Medal, The Columbus Medal, The Silver Antelope, and The Sport Fishing Society of Spain Award,


1963 - Flew 22 orbits (solo) in Mercury 9 (Faith 7) 1963 - Gave one of the opening addresses to the first meeting of the League of African Nations (from Space) 1963 - Used the first television camera in Space 1963 - First pilot-controlled re-entry from Space 1963-1965 - First Military man to address the Joint Sessions of Congress twice 1965 - Flew 122 orbits as command pilot of Gemini 5 1965 - First man to fly two orbital flights 1965 - First man to fly a fuel cell in Space 1965 - First man to fly a radar set in Space 1965 - First man to track a typhoon from Space 1965 - Established the World Record of most hours in Space for the United States 1965 - National Aeronautic Association Record Distance in Earth orbit 1965 - National Aeronautic Association Record Duration in Earth orbit

FLYING EXPERIENCE: 7000 hours total time; 4000 hours jet time; Flies all types of commercial and general aviation airplane and helicopters.


1945-1946 - United States Marine Corps.

1946-1949 - Attended the University of Hawaii - obtained commission

1949 - Called to active duty USAF (for pilot training)

1950-1954 - Fighter pilot with 86th Fighter-Bomber group in Germany

1954-1956 - Attended the Air Force Institute of Technology 1956-1957 - Attended the USAF Experimental Flight Test School 1957-1959 - Served as Experimental Flight Test Engineer and Flight Test Pilot at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California

1959 - Selected in First Group of Seven Astronauts for the NASA Mercury Program

May 15-16, 1963 - Command Pilot on MA9 - "Faith 7"

August 21-28, 1965 - Command Pilot on Gemini 5

October 1965 - October 1966 - Served as Back-up Command Pilot on Gemini 12

April 1968 - April 1969 - Served as Back-up Command Pilot on Apollo 10

July 31, 1970 - Retired from the Air Force and the Space Program


1956-1959 - Experimental Flight Engineer and Test Pilot at the Air Force Flight Test Center. Served as Project Manager on several flight development projects. Helped to develop new techniques of flight testing and new aircraft stability parameters.

1950-1970 - In addition to training for Space Flight, has had extensive experience in test project management from the drawing board to the flight test phase of check out and qualification for various major systems of the Space Program.


1962-1967 - Performance Unlimited, Inc. - President - Manufactured race engines, fiberglass boats, distributed marine engines and products, raced high performance boats.

1963-1967 - GCR, Inc. - President - Designed, tested and raced championship cars at Indianapolis and other USAC tracks, conducted tire tests for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, pioneered turbine engine installation on cars.

1965-1970 - Teletest, Inc. - President - Designed, installed and tested various systems using advanced Telemetry.

1966-1969 - Doubloon, Inc. - Participated with Doubloon Inc. on design, construction, and utilization of new types of Treasure Hunting equipment.

1968-1969 - Cosmos, Inc. - Participated with Cosmos, Inc. on Archeology exploration projects.

1968-1970 - Profile Race Team - Part owner and race project manager, designed constructed and raced high performance boats.

1968-1970 - Republic Corp. Technical Consultant - Technical consultant for corporate acquisitions and public relations.

1967-1969 - Thompson Industries Technical Consultant - Technical Consultant for design and construction of various automotive production items for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Motor Companies.

1970-1972 - Canaveral International, Inc. - Member of Board of Directors and Technical Consultant for developing technical products, public relations in land development projects.

1970 -Present - Gordon Cooper & Associates, Inc. - President for consultant firm specializing technical projects from airline and aerospace fields to land and hotel development projects.

1970-1974 - APECO - Board of Director for corporation which produces and markets modular homes, computer systems, office systems, copy machines and boats and marine equipment.

July 1972-June 1973 - Campco - Member of Board of Directors and Technical consultant for corporation which builds campers and mobile homes.

August 1972-December 1973 - LowCom Systems, Inc. - Board of Directors and Technical Consultant for design and production of various advanced electronic systems.

1972-1973 - Aerofoil Systems, Inc. - Board of Directors and Technical Consultant for design and construction of lifting, inflatable, steerable foils which could land cargo and/or personnel at a precise spot.

July 1973-January 1974 - Craftech Construction, Inc. - Vice President and member of the Board of Directors - Design and construction of economical homes, garages, storage buildings, and hangars of Craftboard and fiberglass.

January 1973-Present - Constant Energy Systems, Inc. - Development of a large energy system to use for metropolitan power and ship engines without use of petrochemicals. Development and sales of improvements to automotive engines to increase their efficiency.

1975 Became Vice President for Research and Development for Walter E. Disney Enterprises, Inc., the research and development subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions. Located in Glendale, California.

Currently President, XL, Inc., Beverly Hills, California.


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Last update 3 May 2001.
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