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Richard Francis (Dick) Gordon Jr Status: Inactive. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Pilot. Sex: Male. Marital Status: Married. Children: Six. Birth Date: 05 October 1929. Birth City: Seattle. Birth State: Washington. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1963 NASA Group. Date Selected: 17 October 1963. Departed: 1972. Number of Flights: 2. Total Time: 13.16 days. Number of EVAs: 3. Total EVA Time: 2.75 hours.

NAME: Richard F. Gordon Jr.

BIRTHPLACE AND DATE: Gordon was born Oct. 5, 1929, in Seattle, Washington.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington in 1951.

EXPERIENCE: Gordon, a retired Navy captain, received his wings as a naval aviator in 1953. He attended All Weather Flight School and jet transitional training and was assigned to an all-weather fighter squadron at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida. He attended the Navy's Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, and was a flight test pilot there until 1960. He later served with Fighter Squadron 121 at the Miramar, California Naval Air Station as a flight instructor in the F4H and participated in the introduction of that aircraft to the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. He also was flight safety officer, assistant operations officer and ground training officer for Fighter Squadron 96 at Miramar. He won the Bendix Trophy Race from Los Angeles to New York in May 1961, setting a new speed record of 869.74 miles per hour and a transcontinental record of 2 hours 47 minutes.

NASA selected Gordon as an astronaut in 1963. He made his first space flight as pilot on the three-day Gemini 11 mission, launched Sept. 12, 1966. He and Commander Charles Conrad Jr. rendezvoused and docked with an Agena target vehicle. Gordonís EVA had to be cut short after 44 minutes because of difficulties encountered maintaining his position in weightlessness without handholds or foot restraints. The crew used the Agena engine to boost them to a record altitude of 1370 km.

On Nov. 14, 1969, the Apollo 12 moon mission, with Conrad, Gordon, and Alan Bean was launched toward the moon. While Gordon circled 100 km above the moon, Conrad and Bean brought the Lunar Module to a pinpoint landing near an unmanned Surveyor probe that had landed on the moon two years earlier. They conducted two moon walks to gather rocks and examine the Surveyor.

In 1971, Gordon became chief of advanced programs for the Astronaut Office and worked on the design and testing of the Space Shuttle. A year later he retired from NASA and the Navy to become executive Vice President of the New Orleans Saints professional football team. He later was president of Space Age, America Inc.


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