|Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr.|
|Born||6 March 1927|
|Died||4 October 2004|
|Other occupation||Test Pilot|
|Selection||1959 NASA Group|
|Missions||Mercury 9 (Faith 7), Gemini 5|
Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Events 1079 - Omar Khayyám completes the Iranian calendar. 1454 - Thirteen Years' War: Delegates of Year 1927 ( MCMXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Shawnee is a city in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, United States. Oklahoma ( is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. Events 610 - Heraclius arrives by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrows Byzantine Emperor Phocas "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. Test pilots are Aviators who fly new and modified Aircraft in specific maneuvers allowing the results to be measured and the design to be evaluated Colonel ( RP ˈkɜnəl GA ˈkɜrnəl is a Military rank of a Commissioned officer, with corresponding ranks existing in almost every country 1957 - Man In Space Soonest Group 1 - USA Neil A Armstrong, Albert S Mercury-Atlas 9 was the last US Mercury spaceflight Manned space mission, launched on May 15, 1963 from Launch Complex 14 at Gemini 5 (officially Gemini V) was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA 's Gemini program. , also noted as Gordo Cooper, (6 March 1927 – 4 October 2004) was an American astronaut. Events 1079 - Omar Khayyám completes the Iranian calendar. 1454 - Thirteen Years' War: Delegates of Year 1927 ( MCMXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 610 - Heraclius arrives by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrows Byzantine Emperor Phocas "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " The United States of America —commonly referred to as the An astronaut or cosmonaut (космона́вт) is a person trained Cooper was one of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned-space effort by the United States. The Mercury Seven was the group of seven Mercury astronauts picked by NASA on April 9, 1959. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the He flew the longest spaceflight of the Mercury project, was the first American to sleep in orbit and has been noted as the last American to fly alone in earth orbit thus far.
Cooper was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Shawnee is a city in Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma, United States. He grew up there and in Murray, Kentucky where he attended public schools. Murray is a city in Calloway County, Kentucky, United States. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America and achieved the second highest rank of Life Scout. The Boy Scouts of America ( BSA) is the largest youth organization in the United States with over five million Cooper served in the Marine Corps in 1945 and 1946, then received an Army commission after completing three years of coursework at the University of Hawaii. The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities. The University of Hawaii, formally the University of Hawaii System and popularly known as UH, is a public co-educational college and university system that confers Cooper met his first wife Trudy (the only wife of a Mercury astronaut with a private pilot's license) while in Hawaii and they married in 1947. Pilot certification in the United States is under the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA Cooper transferred his commission to the Air Force in 1949, was placed on active duty and received flight training at Perrin AFB, Texas and Williams AFB, Arizona. North Texas Regional Airport, formerly Perrin Air Force Base and also Perrin Field and Grayson County Airport, is an airport located in Denison Williams Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force (USAF base located in Mesa, and about 30 miles southeast of Phoenix, Arizona.
Cooper's first flight assignment came in 1950 at Landstuhl, West Germany where he flew F-84 Thunderjets and F-86 Sabres for four years. Landstuhl (ˈlantʃtuːl is a municipality of over 9000 people in southwestern Germany. West Germany ( Inf German: Westdeutschland or West-Deutschland) was the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany ( WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout While in Germany he also attended the European Extension of the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland University College (UMUC, located in the unincorporated community of Adelphi in Prince George's County, Maryland in the Returning to the United States, he studied for two years at the Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio and in 1957 completed his bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. The Air Force Institute of Technology ( AFIT) is a Graduate school and provider of professional and continuing education that is part of the United States Air Aerospace engineering is the branch of Engineering behind the design construction and science of Aircraft and Spacecraft. Cooper was then assigned to the Experimental Flight Test School at Edwards Air Force Base in California and after graduation was posted to the Flight Test Engineering Division at Edwards where he served as a test pilot and project manager testing the F-102A and F-106B. Edwards Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located on the border of Kern County and Los Angeles County California in the Antelope California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. Test pilots are Aviators who fly new and modified Aircraft in specific maneuvers allowing the results to be measured and the design to be evaluated WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout  Cooper logged more than 7,000 hours of flight time, with 4,000 hours in jet aircraft. He flew all types of commercial and general aviation airplanes and helicopters. General aviation (abbr GA) is one of two categories of Civil aviation. History Since 400 AD Chinese children have played with bamboo flying toys.
While at Edwards, Cooper was intrigued to read an announcement saying a contract had been awarded to McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, Missouri to build a space capsule. SSTV sunset audio -ogg-jpg|thumb|right|A Spectral Analysis of the SSTV audio file later in this page created with Cool Edit 2 The McDonnell Aircraft Corporation was an American Aerospace manufacturer based in St Shortly after this he was called to Washington, D. C. for a NASA briefing on Project Mercury and the part astronauts would play in it. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA, ˈnæsə is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's public space program Cooper went through the selection process with the other 109 pilots and was not surprised when he was accepted as one of the first seven American astronauts.
Each of the Mercury astronauts was assigned to a different portion of the project along with other special assignments. Cooper specialized in the Redstone rocket (and developed a personal survival knife for astronauts to carry). First launched in 1953 the American Redstone Rocket (Redstone missile was a direct descendant of the German V-2. He also chaired the Emergency Egress Committee, responsible for working out emergency launch pad procedures for escape. A launch pad is the area and facilities where rockets or spacecrafts liftoff Cooper served as capsule communicator (CAPCOM) for John Glenn's first orbital spaceflight in Mercury-Atlas 6 (Friendship 7) and Scott Carpenter's flight on Mercury-Atlas 7 (Aurora 7). Flight controllers are personnel who aid in the operations of a space flight working in Mission Control Centers such as NASA 's Mission Control Center, or John Herschel Glenn Jr (born July 18 1921 in Cambridge Ohio) is a former United States Senator who first rose to fame as the first American to Orbit An orbital spaceflight (or orbital flight is a Spaceflight in which a Spacecraft is placed on a trajectory where it could remain in space for at least The Mercury-Atlas 6 mission was the first attempt by the US and Mercury program to place an astronaut in orbit Malcolm Scott Carpenter (born May 1 1925 in Boulder Colorado) is a former Test pilot, Astronaut, and Aquanaut. He was backup pilot for Wally Schirra in Mercury-Atlas 8 (Sigma 7). Walter Marty Schirra Jr ( March 12, 1923 &ndash May 3, 2007) was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts chosen for the Project Mercury-Atlas 8 was a Mercury program Manned space mission launched on October 3, 1962.
Cooper was launched into space on 15 May 1963 aboard the Mercury-Atlas 9 (Faith 7) spacecraft, the last Mercury mission. Events 1252 - Pope Innocent IV issues the Papal bull Ad exstirpanda, which authorizes but also limits the Year 1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Mercury-Atlas 9 was the last US Mercury spaceflight Manned space mission, launched on May 15, 1963 from Launch Complex 14 at He orbited the earth 22 times and logged more time in space than all five previous Mercury astronauts combined – 34 hours, 19 minutes and 49 seconds, traveling 546,167 miles (878,971 km) at 17,547 mph (28,239 km/h), pulling a maximum of 7. 6 g (74. g-force (also G-force, g-load) is a measurement of an object's Acceleration expressed in g s 48 m/s²). Cooper achieved an altitude of 165. 9 statute miles (267 km) at apogee. A mile is a unit of Length, usually used to measure Distance, in a number of different systems including Imperial units United States In Celestial mechanics, an apsis, plural apsides (ˈæpsɨdɪːz is the point of greatest or least distance of the Elliptical orbit of an object from He was the first American astronaut to sleep not only in orbit but on the launch pad during a countdown. A launch pad is the area and facilities where rockets or spacecrafts liftoff
Like all Mercury flights Faith 7 was designed for fully automatic control, a controversial engineering decision which in many ways reduced the role of an astronaut to that of a passenger and stirred Chuck Yeager to describe Mercury astronauts as spam in a can. Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager (born February 13 1923 is a retired Brigadier-General in the United States Air Force and a noted Test pilot. 
Towards the end of the Faith 7 flight there were mission-threatening technical problems. Mercury-Atlas 9 was the last US Mercury spaceflight Manned space mission, launched on May 15, 1963 from Launch Complex 14 at During the 19th orbit the capsule had a power failure, carbon dioxide levels began rising and the cabin temperature jumped to over a hundred degrees. Cooper fell back on his understanding of star patterns, took manual control of the tiny capsule and successfully estimated the correct pitch for re-entry into the atmosphere. Some precision was needed in the calculation since if the capsule came in too deep it would burn up and if its trajectory was too shallow it would bounce off the atmosphere into space. Cooper drew lines on the capsule window to help him check his orientation before firing the re-entry rockets. "So I used my wrist watch for time," he later recalled, "my eyeballs out the window for attitude. Then I fired my retrorockets at the right time and landed right by the carrier. " Cooper's cool-headed performance and piloting skills led to a basic rethinking of design philosophy for later space missions.
Two years later (21 August 1965) Cooper flew as command pilot of Gemini 5 on an eight-day, 120-orbit mission with Pete Conrad. Events 1192 - Minamoto Yoritomo becomes Seii Tai Shōgun and the De facto ruler of Japan. Year 1965 ( MCMLXV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. Gemini 5 (officially Gemini V) was a 1965 manned spaceflight in NASA 's Gemini program. Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr ( June 2, 1930 &ndash July 8, 1999) was an American Astronaut and the third The two astronauts established a new space endurance record by traveling a distance of 3,312,993 miles (5,331,745 km) in 190 hours and 56 minutes, showing astronauts could survive in space for the length of time necessary to go from the earth to the moon and back. Cooper was the first astronaut to make a second orbital flight and later served as backup command pilot for Gemini 12. Gemini 12 (officially Gemini XII) was a 1966 Manned spaceflight in NASA 's Gemini program.
Cooper was selected as backup commander for Apollo 10 and was scheduled to fly to the moon as commander of Apollo 13. However, after a falling-out with NASA management, Alan Shepard was chosen instead (Shepard's crew was later moved onto Apollo 14 and the Apollo 13 command went to Jim Lovell). Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr (November 18 1923 &ndash July 21 1998 ( Rear Admiral, USN Ret James "Jim" Arthur Lovell Jr, (born March 25, 1928) is a former NASA Astronaut, most famous as the commander of Apollo 13 Having flown 222 hours in space, Cooper retired from NASA and the Air Force on 31 July 1970 as a colonel. Events 30 BC - Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian 's forces but most of his army subsequently Year 1970 ( MCMLXX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. See also Colonel In the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force, colonel
After leaving NASA, Cooper served on several corporate boards and as technical consultant for more than a dozen companies in fields ranging from high performance boat design to energy, construction and aircraft design. During the 1970s, he worked for The Walt Disney Company as a vice-president of research and development for Epcot. Epcot is a Theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort. The park is dedicated to international Culture and technological Innovation.
After divorcing his first wife Trudy, Cooper married Suzan Taylor in 1972. He had four daughters, Camala Keoki (Cooper) Tharpe and Janita Lee (Cooper) Stone (both from his first marriage) along with Elizabeth Jo and Colleen Taylor (from his second marriage).
Cooper received an honorary doctorate of science degree from Oklahoma State University in 1967. His autobiographical book Leap of Faith (ISBN 0-06-019416-2) recounted his experiences with the Air Force and NASA along with his efforts to expose an alleged UFO conspiracy theory. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA, ˈnæsə is an agency of the United States government, responsible for the nation's public space program A UFO conspiracy theory is any one of many often overlapping conspiracy theories which argue that Evidence of the reality of Unidentified flying objects Cooper was also a major contributor to the book In the Shadow of the Moon (published after his death) which offered Cooper's final published thoughts on his life and career. In the Shadow of the Moon A Challenging Journey to Tranquility is a 2007 non-fiction book by space historians Francis French and Colin Burgess.
Cooper claimed to have seen his first UFO while flying over West Germany in 1951, although he denied reports, he had seen a UFO during his Mercury flight.  In his memoirs Cooper wrote he had seen other unexplained aircraft several times during his career and also said hundreds of similar reports had been made, often by military jet pilots responding to radar or visual sightings from the ground. Radar is a system that uses electromagnetic waves to identify the range altitude direction or speed of both moving and fixed objects such as Aircraft, ships He further claimed these sightings had been "swept under the rug" by the US government.  Throughout his later life Cooper was convinced he had seen extra-terrestrial crafts and described his recollections for the documentary Out of the Blue. Out of the Blue is a feature-length award-winning documentary on the UFO phenomenon 
Cooper developed Parkinson's disease late in life and at age 77 died from heart failure at his home in Ventura, California on October 4, 2004, the same day SpaceShipOne made its second official qualifying flight and won the Ansari X-Prize. Parkinson's disease (also known as Parkinson disease or PD) is a degenerative disorder of the Central nervous system that often impairs the sufferer's Incorporated in 1866 the city of San Buenaventura (usually referred to as Ventura) is the County seat of Ventura Events 610 - Heraclius arrives by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrows Byzantine Emperor Phocas "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again " SpaceShipOne is a Spaceplane that completed the first privately funded Human spaceflight on June 21, 2004. The Ansari X PRIZE was a Space competition in which the X PRIZE Foundation offered a US$ 10000000 Prize for the first non-government
On 29 April 2007 Cooper's ashes (along with those of Star Trek actor James Doohan and 200 others) were launched from New Mexico on a sub-orbital memorial flight by a privately owned Aerospace Spaceloft XL sounding rocket. Events 1429 - Joan of Arc arrives to relieve the Siege of Orleans. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. James Montgomery Doohan ( March 3, 1920 &ndash July 20, 2005) was a Canadian character and voice Actor New Mexico ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. The SpaceLoft XL is a Sounding rocket developed by UP Aerospace. A sounding rocket, sometimes called a research rocket, is an instrument-carrying Rocket designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during Although the capsule carrying the ashes fell back earthward as planned it was lost in mountainous landscape. The search was thwarted by bad weather but after a few weeks the capsule was found and the ashes it carried were returned to the families. 
Cooper received many awards including the Air Force Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf clusters, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Collier Trophy, the Harmon Trophy, the DeMolay Legion of Honor, the John F. The Legion of Merit is a military decoration of the United States armed forces that is awarded for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding The Distinguished Flying Cross is a medal awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself in An oak leaf cluster or oakleaves is a common device which is placed on U The NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal is an award of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that was established in the year The Collier Trophy is an annual Aviation award administered by the U Harmon Trophyjpg|thumb|200px|right|The Harmon Aviatrix Trophy]]The Harmon Trophy is a set of three international trophies to be awarded annually to the world's outstanding aviator aviatrix DeMolay International (Also known as the Order of DeMolay) founded in Kansas City Missouri in 1919 is an international youth fraternity for young men Kennedy Trophy, the Iven C. Kincheloe Award, the University of Hawaii Regents Medal and the Columbus Medal. The Iven C Kincheloe Award recognizes outstanding professional accomplishment in the conduct of flight testing. The University of Hawaii, formally the University of Hawaii System and popularly known as UH, is a public co-educational college and university system that confers He was a Master Mason (member of Carbondale Lodge 82 in Carbondale, Colorado) and a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States often omits the and) commonly known as simply the
Cooper was a member of several groups and societies including the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the American Astronautical Society, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shriners, Rotary Club, Order of Daedalians, Confederate Air Force and Boy Scouts of America. The Society of Experimental Test Pilots is an international organization that seeks to promote air safety and contributes to aeronautical advancement by promoting sound aeronautical design Formed in 1954 the American Astronautical Society (AAS is the premier independent scientific and technical group in the United States exclusively The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States often omits the and) commonly known as simply the The term York Rite is a term most often used in the United States of America to refer to a collection of Masonic degrees that in most other countries are conferred separately The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, commonly known as Shriners and abbreviated A Rotary International is an organization of Service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world The Order of Daedalians is a fraternal and professional order of American Military pilots The namesake of the order is Daedalus who according The Commemorative Air Force (CAF, formerly known as the Confederate Air Force, is a Texas -based Non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and The Boy Scouts of America ( BSA) is the largest youth organization in the United States with over five million
Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee, Oklahoma is named after Cooper. Gordon Cooper Technology Center is a public career and technology education center located in Shawnee Oklahoma and is part of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology The Shawnee, or Shaawanwaki, Shaawanooki and Shaawanowi lenaweeki, are a people native to North America. Oklahoma ( is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America.
Cooper's accomplishments (along with his widely noted and appealing personality) were depicted in the 1983 film The Right Stuff in which he was portrayed by actor Dennis Quaid. The Right Stuff ( is a film adaptation of Tom Wolfe 's book The Right Stuff, about the Test pilots who were involved in high-speed Dennis William Quaid (born April 9, 1954) is an American Actor. Cooper worked closely with the production company on this project and reportedly, every line uttered by Quaid is attributable to Cooper's recollection. Quaid met with Cooper before the casting call and rapidly learned his mannerisms. Quaid also had his hair cut and dyed to match how the former astronaut's hair looked during the 1950s and 1960s. Cooper was later depicted in the 1998 HBO series From the Earth to the Moon, in which his character was played by Robert C. From the Earth to the Moon is a twelve-part HBO Television Miniseries (1998 co-produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Treveiler. Cooper appeared as himself in an episode of the television series CHiPs and during the early 1980s made regular call in appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. CHiPs is an American Television Drama series produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (licensee by Turner Entertainment) Late Night with David Letterman was a nightly hour-long comedy Talk show on NBC hosted by David Letterman. The Thunderbirds character Gordon Tracy was named after him. Thunderbirds is a British mid-1960s television show devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by AP Films using a form of Puppetry Gordon Tracy is a fictional character from Gerry Anderson 's Supermarionation television show Thunderbirds and the subsequent films
|“||No bucks, no Buck Rogers!||”|
|“||In the early days, there was so little that we knew about space. Buck Rogers is a fictional character who first appeared in 1928 as Anthony Rogers the hero of two Novellas by Philip Francis Nowlan published in the magazine Every day was an 'oh, gee-whiz day' or big adventure.||”|
|“||Who's the best pilot y'ever saw?||”|