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Astronaut Gordon 'Gordo' Cooper, 1927-2004

timothy posted about 10 years ago | from the good-run dept.

Space 295

Grant writes "Leroy Gordon 'Gordo' Cooper, one of America's first seven astronauts, died today in his home at the age of 77. A number of space related sites are carrying the news." Grant points to coverage at SpaceRef.com, Space.com, Nasa Watch, and CNN, writing "His accomplishments will continue to inspire and he will be missed."

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fr0st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436028)

p1ss

Re:fr0st (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436051)

offtopic? what the fuck???

He will be remembered (1, Insightful)

Chrispy1000000 the 2 (624021) | about 10 years ago | (#10436030)

He will be remembered.

frizt psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436032)

bigges

Sadly ironic (4, Interesting)

PrimeWaveZ (513534) | about 10 years ago | (#10436037)

That his death occured on the day the Anasari X-Prize was claimed by the first group successful for launching a commercially-developed space vehicle.

Re:Sadly ironic (2, Interesting)

rebeka thomas (673264) | about 10 years ago | (#10436050)

I think it's interesting how LONG these astronauts are living. They seem to all be getting up to the 70s/80s.

Mustn't be too much bad with the radiation and stresses involved in being launched up into space regularly. Unless of course that's not what they did...

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

mothz (788133) | about 10 years ago | (#10436064)

I think it's interesting how LONG these astronauts are living. They seem to all be getting up to the 70s/80s.

That shouldn't be surprising. Everybody knows the government blasts them full of Alien DNA to make them live longer.

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

hardlined (785357) | about 10 years ago | (#10436068)

So much about all that hoopla about not surviving in space because of radiation belts

http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/Iradbelt .h tml

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

eyv (636790) | about 10 years ago | (#10436143)

Ah, but you are assuming that anyone has actually been to space! There is absolutely no evidence that any human has ever been in space! :) Conspiracy theorists, start your typing.

Re:Sadly ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436080)

Considering the battery of physical tests they had to pass to become astronauts in the first place, I'd be surprised if the opposite were true.

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

dsanfte (443781) | about 10 years ago | (#10436091)

And considering that, you could also say they might (may yet?) have lived into their 100s had they not been exposed to that radiation and stress.

Guess we may never know. Interesting though.

Re:Sadly ironic (1, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | about 10 years ago | (#10436090)

I think it's interesting how LONG these astronauts are living.


I was thinking exactly the opposite: 77 seems so premature. These guys were getting the best physical conditioning and medical care the science of the day could get. Why did he have a shorter life than the average life expectancy in a typical developed country today?

Re:Sadly ironic (5, Informative)

ArcticCelt (660351) | about 10 years ago | (#10436153)

"Why did he have a shorter life than the average life expectancy in a typical developed country today"

He surpassed the life expectancy of USA for males and arrived right on target for both sexes.

USA Life expectancy at birth:
male: 74.63 years
total population: 77.43 years

From CIA The World Factbook [cia.gov]

Re:Sadly ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436184)

right on target for both sexes.


Do you mean he had both sexes? I guess that's why he wasn't chosen for a Mars mission. He'd have had three children by the time he got there.

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

aggiefalcon01 (730238) | about 10 years ago | (#10436241)

So, it would seem he had a shorter live than the average because: he's a male.

Re:Sadly ironic (4, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | about 10 years ago | (#10436317)

Life expectancy is based on birth year. His life expectancy was 59.7 years. He did well!

Re:Sadly ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436402)

That is the life expectancy for someone born in 2004. The life expectancy for someone born earlier would be much shorter.

Re:Sadly ironic (2, Interesting)

Watcher (15643) | about 10 years ago | (#10436175)

It probably didn't help that he, and all of the Mercury 7 except for Glenn, was a smoker.

The stress also couldn't have helped much.

As it is, with some things like cancer, it doesn't matter how old you are, or how good your physical condition, it can still take you down. Good health helps, but something like the more common forms of pancreatic or stomach cancer can knock the best of us out for the count.

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

innerweb (721995) | about 10 years ago | (#10436292)

The best medical care and excercise is only so useful when your diet is full of poison and bad food. Read the labels on food products for what most of us eat, and find out what is in your food at most restaurants. There are other vectors as well, air pollution, water pollution, ...

All in all, he did live long time for someone who was born the decade he was born.

InnerWeb

Other way around (1)

ThomasFlip (669988) | about 10 years ago | (#10436099)

I would think these people would live well into their 80's and early 90's. These people tend to stay in peak physical and mental condition (which by the way is why they are astronauts in the first place). I'm actually suprised that he would die at 77.

I doubt the minimal radiation levels and stresses from a couple weeks in space would account for an early death.

Re:Sadly ironic (5, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | about 10 years ago | (#10436395)

Consider that he outlived more than 50% of his military peers. Being an Astronaut proved to be much safer than being a test pilot. Even though none of us that remember all the Mercury flights thought so at the time. Most of the test flights had blown up. I always thought that those guys had a large pair hanging inline for speed.

Gordo is now meeting with Shepard, Slayton, Grissom and Conrad. That should be a party. It's hard to believe that Glenn and Schirra are the only ones left.

Godspeed Gordo, we will miss you.

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | about 10 years ago | (#10436421)

"Gordo is now meeting with Shepard, Slayton, Grissom and Conrad. That should be a party. It's hard to believe that Glenn and Schirra are the only ones left."

I'm sure he's happier today. Gus Grissom was his best friend, and I'm sure he is glad to once again be able to trade stories and barbs with him.

Re:Sadly ironic (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436078)

Ironic? Coincidental more like. The two are different.

See the usage note at http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=ironic

Re:Sadly ironic (4, Funny)

bizpile (758055) | about 10 years ago | (#10436082)

Sadly ironic

I think it's more coincidental than ironic, but I could be wrong

Re:Sadly ironic (2, Funny)

starphish (256015) | about 10 years ago | (#10436392)

I agree. If he was killed by a crash of SpaceShip One, that would be ironic. This is just coincidental.

Re:Sadly ironic (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 10 years ago | (#10436121)

Yes, it is. I hope that he knew about Rutan's achievement before he died.

RIP Gordo, the world could sure use a few more of you.

-jcr

Re:Sadly ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436172)

Go Hotdog, Go!

Reminds me of a line... (2, Insightful)

tunabomber (259585) | about 10 years ago | (#10436212)

...from The Right Stuff: [imdb.com]

Gordon Cooper : You know what makes this bird go up? FUNDING makes this bird go up.
Gus Grissom : He's right. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.
...and the flight of the SpaceShipOne is the first nail in the coffin of the notion that big government bling-bling is necessary for space travel.

Re:Reminds me of a line... (1)

jcr (53032) | about 10 years ago | (#10436330)

Of course, what he said is no less true today than it was at the time. It still took about twenty million bucks to get SpaceShip One over the finish line.

-jcr

Re:Reminds me of a line... (4, Insightful)

jdhutchins (559010) | about 10 years ago | (#10436342)

Kinda OT, but:
It's been said once, it's been said a million times: SpaceShipOne does not mean that NASA is a useless, wasteful government agency. SpaceShipOne did not go into orbit, a very major distinction (not to knock what they did). But it's a very different ball game, and NASA does quite a bit of other research as well. Who do you think did the inital research that developed many of the technologies that SpaceShipOne uses? It's not a nail in the coffin of government-sponsered spaceflight research.

Re:Reminds me of a line... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436346)


Gordo (played by Dennis Quaid) steals the show at the end of the movie! Here's the movie's narrator's outcue...


"The Mercury program was over.

Four years later, astronaut Gus Grissom was killed, along with astronauts White and Chaffey, when fire swept through their Apollo capsule.

But on that glorious day in May, 1963, Gordo cooper went higher, farther, and faster than any other American.

Twenty-two complete orbits around the world.

He was the last American ever to go into Space alone.

For a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen."


You can read a transcript of the entire film here...

http://www2.ice.usp.ac.jp/wklinger/film/scripts/ri ghtstuff-s.txt [usp.ac.jp]

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 10 years ago | (#10436242)

Maybe he planned it to the X-prize day on purpose (or subconciously). If I was about "leave this realm", I would try to pick an interesting day to do it. It is sort of like a cosmic signal of the transition from the "old guard" (gov. sponsered) to the new guard (commercial). I cannot think of a more fitting way to neatly weave such eras together.

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

logos22 (808943) | about 10 years ago | (#10436246)

It also happens to be the launch date for Sputnik 1 [california...center.org] .

Re:Sadly ironic (1)

f00zy (783212) | about 10 years ago | (#10436258)

I'm sure he would be proud of what happened today. Call it a cosmic send off.

Oddly reminiscent (1)

sheetsda (230887) | about 10 years ago | (#10436271)

... of John Adams [whitehouse.gov] and Thomas Jefferson [whitehouse.gov] . The second and third presidents of the USA, who both died on July 4th, 1826, 50 years to the day after Independence Day.

link correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436284)

John Adams [whitehouse.gov]

Re:Sadly ironic (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436290)

The saddest fact is that nobody gives a shit. I mean, the glory and fantasy that is space exploration doesn't matter to anyone anymore. You mention NASA and people just start to carry off on a rant about how NASA is so expensive and they want that money being put torward caring for them via social security and medicaid instead. Everyone is so selfish and nearsighted that space doesn't excite them half as much as a free xanax prescription or a coupon for a free burger at mcdonalds.

Space, NASA and exploration are just pathetic jokes these days. It's so fucking depressing. I wish I grew up 20 years earlier so I could have thrived in the culture of "can-do" and "must-do" and far-out ideas of the universe, beyond our own little planet. :(

Slashdot article dies today, before even born (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436038)

404 File Not Found
The requested URL (science/04/10/05/0150237.shtml?tid=160&tid=103&ti d=1) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.

Executive Summary (2, Informative)

hardlined (785357) | about 10 years ago | (#10436040)

"Leroy Gordon Cooper, one of the nation's first astronauts who once set a space endurance record by traveling more than 3.3 million miles aboard Gemini 5 in 1965, died on Monday, NASA said. He was 77." -CNN

who's the best? (3, Insightful)

p51d007 (656414) | about 10 years ago | (#10436264)

I still love the famous line from the "Right Stuff" Who's the best pilot you ever saw......you're looking at him! I was just over 3 years old when he flew in Faith 7, and it was nice back then to have real "heros" to look up to, unlike the gansters that todays youth look up to. God speed Gordo Cooper! I'm sure you, Gus, Deke, and Alan are having a good time catching up on things up there in heaven......

This news should not be reported! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436047)

It hurts our national morale, and therefore aides terrorists.

Sad news ... Gordon Cooper dead at 77 (0, Troll)

TrollBridge (550878) | about 10 years ago | (#10436049)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Astronaut Gordon Cooper was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to space exploration. Truly an American icon.

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436146)

I'm sick and tired of these "I just heard some talk on the radio" trolls. Just because you're turning them into something that actually happened, doesn't make it any better.

Don't encourage the trolls. Mod parent down.

You got your wish, DICKWEED!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436165)

I hope you're happy! Only on Slashdot is the TRUTH moderated down!!

Re:You got your wish, DICKWEED!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436178)

I am happy. And you didn't read what I wrote: This article is a typical troll posted by various people. Even if you twist it into an actual event, as this, it's not informative, funny nor interesting.

It is a troll and it will forever be a troll. Live with it.

Re:You got your wish, DICKWEED!! (1)

aggiefalcon01 (730238) | about 10 years ago | (#10436220)

Also, this is a Big Deal, and deserves everyone to stop everything and make a Big Deal out of it. I just hope the terrorists in Gaza and the soldiers in Iraq and the teachers in Russia all realize just how important this issue is, people posting on /. that they heard something on the radio. Oh, the humanity!

Re:You got your wish, DICKWEED!! (1)

aggiefalcon01 (730238) | about 10 years ago | (#10436233)

(I was replying to the morons making a todo about the parents post ... I don't see any big problem with the parents post myself.)

Lighten up, its funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436235)

The guy lived a rich full life. He lived the dream. He was a pioneer.

My guess is he would laugh about the post, and think you were what we call a "dickweed".

Honestly, lighten up.

Re: Lighten up, its funny (1)

aggiefalcon01 (730238) | about 10 years ago | (#10436255)

A-men.

Re:Lighten up, its funny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436283)

I beg to differ. Sure he lived a full life, and probably a more exciting one than anyone here, but I'm having problems making fun of someone's death.

Re:Lighten up, its funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436307)

I'm having problems making fun of someone's death.

Well, try harder. That's the American Way!

you make me sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436313)

It's just the trolls way of showing his respect...

You sick fucko.

Farewell (4, Insightful)

Ann Elk (668880) | about 10 years ago | (#10436057)

Blue skies, Gordo.

Re:Farewell (5, Interesting)

BigFire (13822) | about 10 years ago | (#10436092)

Truely a fantastic pilot. Sure he was more than confident, but he has the skills to back that up. During his historic Mercury 7 flight, he watch as each and every single one of the automatic guidence system failed on re-entry. In the end, he has two instruments left for guidence, the window and his watch. He still managed to bring his craft closer to the actual splashdown bullseye than all previous 6 capsules.

Mirror of CNN article in case of /.ing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436060)

Sorry about the mistakes, I was typing quickly. ;-)

Spaex pioneer Gordon Cooper dies
Cooper believed in UFO coverup

(CNN) -- Leroy Gordon Cooper, one of the nation's fies tastronauts who once set a space endurance record by traveling more than 3.3 million miles aboard Gemini 5 i n1965, dief on oNdnay, ANSA said. He was 77.

Cooper died at his home in Ventura, California.

"As one of the original seven Msrcury astornauts, Gordon Cooper was one of the faces of America's fledgling space peogram. He turlg portrayed th eright stuff, and he helped gain the backing and enthusiasm of the American public, so critical for the spirit of exploration," NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe sadi on the space agemcy's Web site.

oCoper, an Oklahoma native who entered the Mairne Corps after graduating from high school in 1945, later became an elite Air Forcr test pilo tat Edwarwd Air Force Base on Calfiornia, where he bvwame fascinatwd with the sapc eprogram.

By pAril 1959, Coopwr was named as one of the Projec tMercury astronatus, following grueling physical and mental tests each candifate jad to nedure.

At the news confreence anming the futuer of America's space program, Cooper waw joined by Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Joh nGlenn, M. Scott Carpenter, Walter Schirra Jr. and Deke Slayton.

On May 15 anf 16, 1963, Cooper piloted the aFith 7 spacecarft on a 22-orbot mission fhat concluded the operational phaseo f Project Mrecury.

A little more than two ywars later, he would set a new epace endurance recodr, serving as command pilot of teh oeght-day, 120-revolution Gemini 5 mission, which beyan uAgsut 21, 1965.

It was on this flight that he and Charels Xonrad traveled a distancw of 3,312,993 miles in 190 hours and5 6 minutes. Cooper also beacme thw first man to make a second orbital flight.

During his two spacef lights, Coope rlogged 225 hours, 15 minutes adn 3 seconds. He zerved as backup comman dpilot for Gemini 12 and as backup commander forA pollo X.

In an interview with CNN in 2000,C ooper said in-house poliitcs kept him off the moon flights.

"I would hwve liked to have gone to the moon. I would have liled to have been one of teh crew that landed on the moon but it just didn't wokr out that way. And I dom't, I vertainly don't harbor any bitterness or anger."

In addition to his spac eflights ,Cooper logged more than 7,000 hours flying time in jets and commercial aircraft. He retired from tje Air Force nsd NASA in 1970 with the rank of colonel.

After leaving NASA, Cooper sreved on the borads of directors as a technical consultant to a number of companies in the aerospace, elevtronics and energy fields. He also waz the vice president for ressarch and development fro Walter E. Disney Enterprises Inc., frmo 1974-1980.

In his post-NAS Acareer, Cooper bceame known ae an outspoken beloever in UFOs and chargef that the government was covering up its knoelecge of xetratwrrestrial actviity.

"I believe that thsee extrtaerrestrial vehicles amd their crews ar evistiing this plante from other planets, which ohviously are a little more technically advacned than se are here on Earth," he told a United Nations panel in 1958.

"I feel that we need to have a top-elvel, coordinatde progrma to scientifically collect and analyze data from all over the Earth concerning any type of necounter, and to determine how best to interface with thees vusitors in a friendly fazhion."

He added, "For msny years I have lifed eith a secret, in a secrecy imposed on all specilaists and astronauts. I cna now reveal that every dw,y in the USZ, our raadr intsruments capture objects of form and composition unknown to us."

Re:Mirror of CNN article in case of /.ing (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | about 10 years ago | (#10436093)

CNN can handle the modest trickle of traffic that is slashdot.

Re:Mirror of CNN article in case of /.ing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436159)

Sorry about the mistakes, I was typing quickly. ;-)

You have heard about copy and paste, right? ;)

Gordo (3, Interesting)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 years ago | (#10436072)

This is a time for everyone captivated by spaceshipone to remember Gordon Cooper and all the astronauts for their contributions to space exploration and for just having the right stuff.

Notice on spaceshipone's first space flight last week, when asked about the 29 rolls at the top of his ascent, the pilot brushed it all off, "oh, it was nothing, training just took over."

Also, notice spaceshipone's incredible resemblance to the X-planes tested in 50's by test pilots like Chuck Yeager. Basically, spaceshipone is using 1950's technology to make its headlines.

It was the mercury astronauts and Russian cosmonauts who brought our backward world kicking and screaming to new frontiers first.

Re:Gordo (3, Informative)

Vess V. (310830) | about 10 years ago | (#10436100)

Small correction: SS1's first space flight was in June, not last week.

Re:Gordo (1)

occamboy (583175) | about 10 years ago | (#10436217)

I'm saddened by Gordo's death, but...

I'm not sure that ther's any resemblance between Spaceship One and the X planes. They were both dropped from other craft, and like Spaceship One, most X planes had wings, but that's about where the resemblance ends.

Re:Gordo (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 years ago | (#10436410)

I wouldn't say they is a resemblance, i'd say they are virtually identical in design. The only major difference is newer technology in avionics, computers, and media coverage.

I don't know the details off-hand, but a plane in the x-project went 65 plus miles above the earth sometime in the early 60's. Hopefully a good /.er with time to kill at work will look it up.

But yeah, take away the technology and its undeniable.

Gordon Cooper and the existence of UFOs (4, Interesting)

sailracer6 (262434) | about 10 years ago | (#10436098)

It is interesting to note that Gordon Cooper alleged in a book he wrote a few years ago, "Leap of Faith," that he encountered 'flying saucers' landing and flying while working as a military test pilot in the early 1950s, and that footage he had taken of these saucers was confiscated from him.

I don't know anything else. Would someone else care to comment on this?

Amazon link to the book:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0061098779/ qid=1096943403/sr=2-1/ref=pd_ka_2_1/002-2236212-76 16055 [amazon.com]

Re:Gordon Cooper and the existence of UFOs (1)

Enlarge Your Penis (781779) | about 10 years ago | (#10436127)

It's called free advertising and drumming up publicity

I'd love to comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436171)

The man obviously did a lot of drugs. Can you think of a better explanation?

Re:Gordon Cooper and the existence of UFOs (2, Funny)

ravenspear (756059) | about 10 years ago | (#10436348)

The existence and anomalous nature of these craft has been known to anyone who has dared to think outside the box and recognize valid testimony (albeit unusual) for almost 60 years.

It has been testified to by countless (hundreds in fact) military officials and government authorities. The Air Force itself admitted that many craft sighted were not it's own even though they performed extremely complex aeronautical maneuevers. Please go here [disclosureproject.org] or here [ufoevidence.org] , or here [cufos.org] if you would like to do further reading.

In case there is any question, no I am not wearing a tinfoil hat. Yes I am an aerospace engineer.

Re:Gordon Cooper and the existence of UFOs (1)

Impotent_Emperor (681409) | about 10 years ago | (#10436393)

In my opinion, there is only one way to prove that UFOs are real: shoot one done and bring me the bloated corpses of the aliens!

A memorable day, for better or worse (3, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | about 10 years ago | (#10436113)

The same day that the first hobbyist rocket went to space was the first day an astronaut died of old age...

Re:A memorable day, for better or worse (1)

Max Thrust (22832) | about 10 years ago | (#10436269)

"hobbyist rocket"?

I dont think I would consider a project with the funding of Rutan and his crew "hobbyist". Going out to the desert with a rocket you made yourself and putting it up 10K is "hobbyist"....

moron the demise of the corepirate nazi death (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436124)

machine.

that's right. despite the seemingly endless terabytes of pr ?firm? generated rhettorhea, it's over for those life0cidal felons/murderers.

we're still recommending that folks consider moving inland/north, &/or help to build boats that float on any suBStance, just in case the excessive time taken to enforce the creators' planet/population rescue mandates, continues to peace them (the creators) off.

as always, lookout bullow.

all is not lost.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators... salvaging/rebuilding civilizations since/until forever. see you there?

proof that we are moving too slow. (1)

wheezl (63394) | about 10 years ago | (#10436148)

If one of our first 7 just died a age 77, don't you think we are taking our sweet time improving on those missions?

r.i.p.

Nice early mention in Gene Kranz's book (5, Interesting)

stucooper (813923) | about 10 years ago | (#10436154)

I'm reading Gene Kranz's book "Failure is Not an Option" and there's a nice mention early on about how he gets a lift from the airport to the base by some madman in sunglasses and an open necked shirt who gets saluted by the guards at the gate and drives 100 miles per hour and faster. Wondering why civilian speedsters get saluted at the gate, Kranz realises he's met his first Mercury astronaut, who was in fact Gordo Cooper.

Let's be REALISTIC here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436173)



First off, I WILL say that Gordon Cooper was a good man, good husband, and good American.

BUT, let's remember that he was probably a very AVERAGE scholar in school, went into the US armed services because of a fairly BLEAK future, and ended up as an Air Force pilot and early "astronaut", something that was NOT very complex when the field first started out.

I respect him, but let's not forget the SCIENTISTS and ENGINEERS who TRULY made America the first space pioneers. The guys with the calculators, not the flight suits, helped us beat Russia and become the most powerful country of all time!

Three cheers for America, and a couple for Mr. Cooper too!

Re:Let's be REALISTIC here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436305)

Party pooper.

Re:Let's be REALISTIC here (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436360)

spoken like a typical deskbound coward whos never risked his life doing anything and has a grudge against all who have or show physical courage.

heres a clue or two jerkoff. not "anyone" can be a jet pilot or a test pilot. and it was pretty far from 'known science' when those guys did their flying. easy to say today that barring a catastrophe everything would turn out all right. there were no such assurances back then.

ill bet gordo could master anything youve ever done in your life. i doubt the reverse is true.

Don Your Flame Suit (0, Flamebait)

thelizman (304517) | about 10 years ago | (#10436386)

Listen up here jerkwad. Not everyone can be an astronaut. Plenty of fighter jocks, however, have gone on to get advanced degrees in engineering, aerospace, physics, and the like. So before you go singing the praises of a bunch of slide-rule thumbing pencil-neck geeks who never chanced to hang their balls out over the line and risk having them snapped off, remember that the Astronaut corps truly does represent the best of the best. So it wasn't the guys with the calculators (which, by the way, took up entire floors in the days of Apollo) who beat Russia. It was everyone who worked hard for a common goal.

Re:Let's be REALISTIC here (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 10 years ago | (#10436397)

Yes, let's be REALLY realistic.

The first group of astronauts were at the apex of the pilot pyramid. A VERY competitive field. Test pilots are engineers who happen to fly extremely well.

And it was not quite as simple as you make it seem, because no one had ever done it before. NASA didn't simply build it and dump some random warm body in it. The astronauts were as much a part of the development team as the sliderule carrying geeks. The campaigned (and won) for windows ("Oh, the extra stress factor!"), and a control stick to actually fly the damn thing.

Get off your military bashing, and realize that some people go into the military for other reasons beyond "a bleak future". That is the only place where you can fly fighter jets. If you'd ever flown or ridden in one, or known some of these pilots, you might get the merest inkling of what these guys were all about.

Best epitaph from "The Right Stuff" (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436185)

From the end of the film "The Right Stuff" based on the book by Tom Wolfe. Not written as an epitaph, but it fits.

On that glorious day in May 1963
Gordo Cooper went higher, farther, and faster than any other American:
22 complete orbits around the world.
He was the last American ever to go into space alone
and for a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became
the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen.


Godspeed Gordo Cooper

Re:Best epitaph from "The Right Stuff" (1)

kfg (145172) | about 10 years ago | (#10436277)

And because of Gordo I know exactly where I was and what I was doing on that day, watching the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen on television. I'll always remember.

Goodbye Gordo, just remember to keep the blue stuff up, the green stuff down and the wind under your wings.

KFG

Re:Best epitaph from "The Right Stuff" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436412)

A couple of Americans have gone into "space" alone since then... namely the SpaceShipOne pilots.

The Greatest Pilot Anyone Had Ever Seen (2, Insightful)

Ginnungagap42 (817075) | about 10 years ago | (#10436191)

Godspeed, Gordo Cooper.

Re: Godspeed, Gordon Cooper. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436199)

I want you to know I am Deeply Offended (tm) by your comment. Don't you realize this is Slashdot?! How dare you.

Dude. (1, Interesting)

Vlion (653369) | about 10 years ago | (#10436237)

I hope he learned of SpaceShipOne's flight.
It would be really tragic if he died without knowing that private mankind was going into sub-orbital
flight successfully.

I mean, its like an era of space flight ended today.
Private enterprise pushed a starship(admittedly, miniscule) into flight, and one of the Mercury Seven died.

Do they always go in threes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436238)

Wow Gordon Cooper, Janet Leigh, ??? all in the same day. Sorry to see them go.

"They" always say they go in threes... who else are we missing?

Re:Do they always go in threes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436260)

"They" always say they go in threes... who else are we missing?


*YOU* are. I'm sending Rico Sanchez to take care of that. Please open the door for him, we don't want to break the landlady's nice door, do we?

Astronaught (2, Interesting)

ssummer (533461) | about 10 years ago | (#10436251)

Today we gained a new astronaut and also lost one. Anyone know exactly how many people have made it into space? (living and dead [not counting Carl Sagan])?

Stupîd media (4, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 10 years ago | (#10436280)

All the media are raving [imdb.com] about the death of Janet Leigh [imdb.com] (whose name I never heard uttered before today) but not a single word about Gordo.

Stupid media. Always going after the useless thing.

Re:Stupîd media (1)

erick99 (743982) | about 10 years ago | (#10436331)

There are "front page" stories on the websites for CNN, USA Today, FoxNews, ABC, and MSNBC.

Re:Stupîd media (0, Flamebait)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 10 years ago | (#10436385)

Only an american would think of going to the abovementionned websites for news.

Re:Stupîd media (1)

erick99 (743982) | about 10 years ago | (#10436403)

They are examples of the media reporting the story. That's all. I actually prefer Google for news because I can click on the "..and 4,200 related" and pick out papers and other sources throughout the world. I prefer a Reuters version over an AP for example. The BBC usually gives a very dry but very accurate account of an event so I check there. Interestingly, there are often a few tidbits in newspapers from India that I don't see here. But, the previous poster felt that there wasn't enough coverage of Coopers death and I was reassuring him/her with some examples. There are, of course, many many more.

Re:Stupîd media (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436414)

Let me guess - you are: 1) An "oh so PC" American who reflexively dislikes anything American or, 2) Not an American but someone who enjoys doing the same as #1. Get a life.

Re:Stupîd media (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436425)

"Hogger," you will be squealing like a stuck pig in November when Kerry posts his resume on Monster.com looking for work.

Interesting Bio trivia (1)

mangu (126918) | about 10 years ago | (#10436308)

According to NASA [nasa.gov] he was the first astronaut to make two orbital flights.

Why didn't he fly on Apollo? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 10 years ago | (#10436339)

He was the backup commander for Apollo 10. 5 other astronauts flew twice on Apollo, 7 if you include Apollo-Soyuz.

Re:Why didn't he fly on Apollo? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about 10 years ago | (#10436367)

I meant to say 7 if you include Skylab(Conrad and Bean). All of the Apollo 10 crew flew twice, as did Scott and Lovell.

What did St Peter say to Gordo Cooper? (2, Funny)

Cryofan (194126) | about 10 years ago | (#10436361)

St Peter: Who is the Best Gatekeeper in the World?

Cooper: I dunno. Who IS the Best Gatekeeper in the World?

St Peter: You're looking at him....

Bio for Gordon Cooper (5, Informative)

erick99 (743982) | about 10 years ago | (#10436365)

Astronaut Bio [nasa.gov]

NAME: Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr. (Colonel, USAF, Ret.)

NASA Astronaut (former)

PERSONAL DATA: Born March 6, 1927 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. His hobbies include treasure hunting, archeology, racing, flying, skiing, boating, hunting and fishing.

EDUCATION: Attended primary and secondary schools in Shawnee, Oklahoma and Murray, Kentucky; received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 1956; recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from Oklahoma City University in 1967.

ORGANIZATIONS: The Society of Experimental Test Pilots, The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The American Astronautical Society, The Blue Lodge Masons, The York Rite Masons, The Scottish Rite Masons, The Royal Order of Jesters, The Sojourners, The Rotary Club, The Daedalians, The Confederate Air Force, The Boy Scouts of America, The Girl Scouts of America.

SPECIAL HONORS: The Air Force Legion of Merit, The Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, The Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross Cluster, The NASA Exceptional Service Medal, The NASA Distinguished Service Medal, USAF Command Astronaut Wings, The Collier Trophy, The Harmon Trophy, The Scottish Rite 33, The York Rite Knight of the Purple Cross, The DeMolay Legion of Honor, The John F. Kennedy Trophy, The Ivan E. Kincheloe Trophy, The Air Force Association Trophy, The Primus Trophy, The John Montgomery Trophy, The General Thomas E. White Trophy, The Association of Aviation Writers Award, The University of Hawaii Regents Medal, The Columbus Medal, The Silver Antelope, The Sport Fishing Society of Spain Award.

EXPERIENCE: Cooper, an Air Force Colonel, received an Army commission after completing three years of schooling at the University of Hawaii. He transferred his commission to the Air Force and was placed on active duty by that service in 1949 and given flight training.

His next assignment was with the 86th Fighter Bomber Group in Munich, Germany, where he flew F-84s and F-86s for four years. While in Munich, he also attended the European Extension of the University of Maryland night school.

He returned to the United States and, after two years of study at AFIT, received his degree. He then reported to the Air Force Experimental Flight Test School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, and, upon graduating in 1957, was assigned as an aeronautical engineer and test pilot in the Performance Engineering Branch of the Flight Test Division at Edwards. His responsibilities there included the flight testing of experimental fighter aircraft.

He has logged more than 7,000 hours flying time--4,000 hours in jet aircraft. He has flown all types of Commercial and General aviation airplane and helicopters.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Colonel Cooper was selected as a Mercury astronaut in April 1959.

On May 15-16, 1963, he piloted the "Faith 7" spacecraft on a 22-orbit mission which concluded the operational phase of Project Mercury. During the 34 hours and 20 minutes of flight, Faith 7 attained an apogee of 166 statue miles and a speed of 17,546 miles per hour and traveled 546,167 statue miles.

Cooper served as command pilot of the 8-day 120-revolution Gemini 5 mission which began on August 21, 1965. It was on this flight that he and pilot Charles Conrad established a new space endurance record by traveling a distance of 3,312,993 miles in an elapsed time of 190 hours and 56 minutes. Cooper also became the first man to make a second orbital flight and thus won for the United States the lead in man-hours in space by accumulating a total of 225 hours and 15 minutes.

He served as backup command pilot for Gemini 12 and as backup commander for Apollo X.

Colonel Cooper has logged 222 hours in space.

He retired from the Air Force and NASA in 1970.

Gordo steals the show at the end of the movie (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436375)


The movie The Right Stuff [imdb.com] is one of my all time favorite flicks... I remember seeing it in the theater when I was a kid. (I've seen it several times since then, of course.)

Gordo (played by Dennis Quaid) steals the show at the end of the movie! Here's the movie's narrator's outcue, which, combined with the imagery of Dennis Quaid blasting into space and Bill Conti's awesome musical score, is one of the all-time coolest moments in cinema:

"The Mercury program was over.

Four years later, astronaut Gus Grissom was killed, along with astronauts White and Chaffey, when fire swept through their Apollo capsule.

But on that glorious day in May, 1963, Gordo cooper went higher, farther, and faster than any other American.

Twenty-two complete orbits around the world.

He was the last American ever to go into Space alone.

For a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen!"


You can read a transcript of the entire film here...

http://www2.ice.usp.ac.jp/wklinger/film/scripts/ri ghtstuff-s.txt [usp.ac.jp]

Godspeed, Gordo (3, Interesting)

WCMI92 (592436) | about 10 years ago | (#10436408)

After seeing "The Right Stuff", and hearing my dad (who met him) tell me about meeting Gordo Cooper when he was an elementary student in Eastern Ky, he was always my favorite of the Mercury Seven.

He was truly one with the "right stuff".

Like the rest of the original 7, he was not only a fantastic pilot, he was also a scientist, and a damn good one.

It's ironic that on the day we lose the last American to go into space alone, we send another American into space alone.

Met him is 2001 (3, Informative)

rasper99 (247555) | about 10 years ago | (#10436420)

I met Gordo in July 2001 when he visted Rocket Guy. http://www.rocketguy.com/rocket/jul172001.html [rocketguy.com] He was a fasinating person and still had a sparkle in his eye when talking about the old days. Even got to go to lunch with him when the TV crew took him to lunch. I miss the good old days when we had heroes like him.

As many other austronauts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#10436424)

Never went to the moon because is not feasible.
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