Apollo 12 astronaut Richard Gordon dies at 88

Apollo 12 astronaut Richard Gordon dies at 88”

Since retiring from NASA, Gordon served as Executive Vice President of the New Orleans Saints Professional Football Club in the NFL and was an executive at several companies in the oil and gas, engineering and technology industries.

During a 1999 interview, Gordon said that during his trip to explore the moon, he and his fellow astronauts really discovered Earth. Gordon was the command module pilot on Apollo 12, the second mission to land on the moon.

"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".

Apollo 12 marked the first moon landing to touch down in a designated spot. He ran into problems from the start.

"Alright. Just rest. You've got plenty of time".

Gordon's visor was fogging up as he struggled in the weightlessness (much like had happened in previous spacewalks). "I think we learn more from our failures and mistakes than we do with anything else".

"NASA and the nation have lost one of our early space pioneers". No cause of death was given. Gordon was also the pilot for the Gemini 11 mission in 1966, performing two spacewalks. While other the astronauts, spacecraft commander, Charles Conrad and lunar module pilot, Alan Bean, spent 31-hours on the lunar surface, Gordon remained in orbit around the moon on the command module, "Yankee Clipper".

Gordon was in line to command a later lunar mission, perhaps Apollo 18. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Washington in 1951 and went on to be a test pilot and flight instructor before joining NASA in 1963.

Gordon was all about speed and after he won the Bendix Trophy Race from Los Angeles to New York in 1961 - setting a transcontinental speed record of 2 hours and 47 minutes - NASA asked him to join the exciting space industry.

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