Richard F. Gordon, Jr.

Richard Francis "Dick" Gordon, Jr. ( born October 5, 1929 in Seattle, Washington, United States) is a former American astronaut.

Gordon left in 1947, the High School in Poulsbo, a small town 35 kilometers northwest of Seattle, and then began to study chemistry at the University of Washington. After earning a Bachelor 's degree in the summer of 1951 he was appointed by the U.S. Navy in Pensacola (Florida ) designed for pilots, followed by an additional course for jet aircraft.

In Jacksonville (Florida ) Gordon served three years with a squadron until he was accepted by the United States Naval Test Pilot School in Maryland early 1957. In July 1957 his education was completed at the test pilots ( one of his teachers was Alan Shepard ). As a result, he tested at Naval Station Patuxent River machines of the F -8U " Crusader", F -11F "Tiger" and FJ "Fury".

As a test pilot Gordon brought the fighter F-4 "Phantom II" to fruition. With an F- 4H he presented in May 1961 with 1399.7 km / h set a new speed record when he covered the transcontinental route from Los Angeles to New York in just 2 hours and 47 minutes. At the Naval Air Station Miramar in California, he trained Navy pilots in dealing with this new fighter plane.

With a squadron Gordon was sent in November 1962, the aircraft carrier "USS Ranger" to the Far East. After they had traveled to Japan and the South China Sea, the unit met in June 1963 at the home port of Alameda (California ) again. Subsequently Gordon visited the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, but did not complete his studies.

NASA activities

Gordon had applied in 1962 for the second astronaut group in the U.S.. He was invited for a week to medical examinations to San Antonio, Texas at the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, spent another week in Houston at the Manned Spacecraft Center, as the JSC was then called, but was not selected. In the next selection, he was luckier and was presented in October 1963 with a dozen other candidates to the public.

After half a year of theoretical training received in July 1964 each of the 14 new astronauts assigned to an area for which he was responsible. Gordon was responsible for the design and layout of the controls of the Apollo spacecraft. To this end, he worked closely with the technicians of the manufacturer.

Since September 1965, Gordon was in the spare crew of Gemini 8 and was promoted six months later, as expected in the crew of Gemini 11. This three-day mission took place in September 1966. Main task was to approach and coupling with the Agena target satellite, which succeeded to the satisfaction of all parties. Just as the two exits from the space ship, which carried out Gordon on two consecutive days.

A year after its maiden flight Gordon was a pilot of the command module of Apollo -8 replacement team to be set up nine months later in this function for Apollo 9.

As of March 1969, Gordon was a pilot of the command module for the crew of Apollo 12 As with its first flight with Gemini 11 was the commander Charles Conrad. Apollo 12 was the second manned lunar landing and took place in November 1969. After the lunar module " Intrepid " had landed, Conrad entered as the third and lunar module pilot Alan Bean, the fourth man on the moon. Gordon remained throughout the mission aboard the Command Module "Yankee Clipper ".

On March 26, 1970, the crew of Apollo 15 was announced, with Gordon as a substitute commander. Since usually the backup crew of three flights later, the home team was formed, Richard Gordon, Vance Brand and Jack Schmitt could make legitimate hopes to be nominated for Apollo 18. On September 2, 1970 this scheduled flight was canceled, as well as Apollo 19 and 20 by NASA.

In January 1972 Gordon left the U.S. space agency and went first in the sport: He spent five years as Vice President of the " New Orleans Saints", a football club in the NFL professional league. He subsequently managed for a short time a Texas chemical company (Energy Developers ). In 1978 he took over for three years, the leadership of Resolution Engineering and Development Company, which dealt with the utilization of wild sources of oil. Between 1981 and 1983 he was Director for the Los Angeles at Scott Science and Technology. He was also from 1982, president of Astro Sciences Corporation.

Gordon is married to his second wife and has six children.

Special features and Records