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Richard Gordon's

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Richard F. Gordon Jr

Born October 5, 1929, Seattle, Washington
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, University of Washington
Honorary Doctorate of Science, Niagara University

About the Man

Richard Gordon received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Washington in 1951. He received his wings as a naval aviator in 1953. He then attended All-Weather Flight School and jet transitional training and was then assigned to an all-weather fighter squadron at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida.

In 1957, Gordon attended the Navy's Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland where he served as a flight test pilot until 1960. While assigned there, he did flight test work on various aircraft including the F8U Crusader, and the A4D Skyhawk. In addition, he was the first project test pilot for the F4H Phantom II.

Gordon served with Fighter Squadron 121 at Miramar Naval Air Station in California, as a flight instructor in the F4H. He also participated in the introduction of that aircraft to the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. He was a flight safety officer, an assistant operations officer, and a ground-training officer for Fighter Squadron 96 while at Miramar.

Among other distinctions, Richard Gordon is the winner of the Bendix Trophy Race from Los Angeles to New York in May 1961. He established a new speed record of 869.74 miles per hour and a transcontinental speed record of 2 hours and 47 minutes.

Richard Gordon was chosen in October of 1963 by NASA as one of the third group of astronauts.

About the Spaceflights

Gemini 11


September 12-15, 1966

Richard Gordon served as pilot for the Gemini 11 flight.

The crew of Gemini 11, Astronauts Conrad and Gordon practiced docking, performed extravehicular activities, EVA's, and conducted a manuever called high apogee excursion, while docked with another Gemini rocket. They also conducted eleven different experiments and conducted a tethered vehicle test.

Flight Duration: Two days, twenty-three hours, seventeen minutes, and eight seconds

Apollo 12


November 14-24, 1969

Gordon served as command module pilot for the Apollo 12 mission.

Apollo 12 was the second manned lunar landing mission. The astronauts nicknamed the Command Module, {CM}, the Yankee Clipper. They nicknamed the Lunar Excursion Module, {LM}, the Intrepid. The landing site for Apollo 12 was the Ocean of Storms.

Astronauts Conrad, Gordon, and Bean deployed the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments Package, ALSEP, on the moon's surface. They collected seventy-five pounds of material. They also retrieved parts of the unmanned Surveyor 3, which had landed on the Moon in April of 1967.

The crew of Apollo 12 stayed on the moon's surface for thirty-one and a half hours. Apollo 12 splashed down on November 24, 1969.

Flight Duration: Flight Duration: Ten days, four hours, and thirty-six minutes

Click on the patches to read about Richard Gordon's historic spaceflights