Cooper, (Leroy) Gordon, Jr


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US astronaut. He circled the Earth 22 times in Faith 7 in 1963. When the automatic controls failed, he piloted the craft manually back to Earth, splashing down within 8 km of the recovery ship. He was also the command pilot of Gemini 5 on an eight-day endurance mission in August 1965.

Cooper was a test pilot with the US Air Force before being selected in 1959 as one of the ‘Original Seven’ Mercury astronauts. He retired from NASA in 1970. In 1989 he became chief executive officer of Galaxy Group Inc., an aircraft engineering design group.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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