[Gordon Cooper] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data



NAME: Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr.
NASA Astronaut

PERSONAL DATA:
Shawnee, Oklahoma, March 6, 1927. His father, Leroy Gordon Cooper, Sr., is deceased and his mother, Hattie Cooper, resides in Carbondale, Colorado.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:
Brown hair; blue eyes; height: 5 ft. 8 in.; weight: 155 lbs.

EDUCATION:
Attended primary and secondary school in Shawnee, Oklahoma and Murray, Kentucky, respectively.

Colleges:
University of Hawaii
University of Maryland - European Extension
U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology

Advanced Level:
Eleven years graduate level training in Space Technology, Space Mechanics, Lunar Geology, Spacecraft Design, Spacecraft Check Out and Flight Testing with NASA

Degrees:
B.S.A.E. - Air Force Institute of Technology
Dr. of Science - Oklahoma City University
Other Schools:
Graduate of U.S.A.F. Jet Pilot School
Graduate of U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team School
Graduate of U.S.N. Helicopter School

RECREATIONAL INTERESTS:
Enjoys treasure hunting, archeology, racing, flying, skiing, boating, hunting, and fishing.

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
Scottish Rite Masons
Royal Order
Sojourners
Rotary Club
Daedalians
Confederate Air Force
Boy Scouts of America
Girl Scouts of America

SPECIAL HONORS:
AWARDS AND TROPHIES:
Air Force Legion of Merit
Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross Cluster
NASA Exceptional Service Medal
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

RECORDS AND FIRSTS:
1963 - Flew 22 orbits (solo) in Mercury 9 (Faith 7)
1963 - Gave one of the opening addresses to the first meeting of the League of African Nations (from Space)
1963 - Used the first television camera in Space
1963 - First pilot-controlled reentry from Space
1963-1965 - First Military man to address the Joint Sessions of Congress twice
1965 - Flew l22 orbits as command pilot of Gemini 5
1965 - First man to fly two orbital flights
1965 - First man to fly a fuel cell in space
1965 - First man to fly a radar set in space
1965 - First man to track a typhoon from Space
1965 - Established the World Record of most hours in Space for the United States National Aeronautic Association Record Distance in Earth orbit 1965 - National Aeronautic Association Record Duration in Earth orbit

EXPERIENCE:
FLYING EXPERIENCE:
7000 hours total time
4000 hours jet time; flies all types of commercial and general aviation airplane and helicopters

MILITARY EXPERIENCE:

1945-1946 - United States Marine Corps.
1946-1949 - Attended the University of Hawaii - obtained commission
1949 - Called to active duty USAF (for pilot training)
1950 - 1954 - Fighter pilot with 86th Fighter-Bomber group in Germany
1954 - 1956 - Attended the Air Force Institute of Technology Attended the USAF Experimental Flight Test School
1956 - 1957 - Served as Experimental Flight Test Engineer and Flight Test Pilot at the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California
1957 - 1959 - Selected in First Group of Seven Astronauts for the NASA Mercury Program
May 15-16, l963 - Command Pilot on MA9 - "Faith 7"
August 21-28, 1965 - Command Pilot on Gemini 5
October 1965 - October 1966 - Served as Back-up Command Pilot on Gemini 12
April 1968 - April 1969 - Served as Back-up Command Pilot on Apollo 10
July 31, 1970 - Retired from the Air Force and the Space Program

MILITARY TECHNICAL AND MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE:

1956-1959 - Experimental Flight Engineer and Test Pilot at the Air Force Flight Test Center. Served as Project Manager on several flight development projects. Helped to develop new new techniques of flight testing and new aircraft stability parameters.

1950-1970 - In addition to training for Space Flight, has had extensive experience in test project management from the drawing board to the flight test phase of check out and qualification for various major systems of the Space Program.

BUSINESS TECHNICAL AND MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE:

1962-1967 - Performance Unlimited, Inc., President - Manufactured race engines, fiberglass boats, distributed marine engines and products, raced high performance boats.
1963-1967 - GCR, Inc., President - Designed, tested and raced championship cars at Indianapolis and other USAC tracks, conducted tire tests for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, pioneered turbine engine installation.
1965-1970 - Teletest, Inc., President - Designed, installed and tested various systems using advanced Telemetry.
1966-1969 - Doubloon, Inc. - Participated with Doubloon Inc. on design, construction, and utilization of new types of Treasure Hunting equipment.
1968-1969 - Cosmos, Inc. - Participated with Cosmos, Inc. on Archeology exploration projects.
1968-1970 - Profile Race Team - Part owner and race project manager, designed constructed and raced high performance boats.
1968-1970 - Republic Corp. Technical Consultant - Technical consultant for corporate acquisitions and public relations.
1967-1969 - Thompson Industries Technical Consultant - Technical Consultant for design and construction of various automotive production items for General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler Motor Companies.
1970-1972 - Canaveral International, Inc. - Member of Board of Directors and Technical Consultant for developing technical products, public relations in land development projects.
1970 - Present - Gordon Cooper and Associates, Inc. - President for consultant firm specializing in technical projects from airline and aerospace fields to land and hotel development projects.
1970-1974 - APECO - Board of Director for corporation which produces and markets modular homes, computer systems, office systems, copy machines and boats and marine equipment.
July 1972-June 1973 - Campco - Member of Board of Directors and Technical consultant for corporation which builds campers and mobile homes.
August 1972-December 1973 - LowCom Systems, Inc. - Board of Directors and Technical Consultant for design and production of various advanced electronic systems.
1972-1973 - Aerofoil Systems, Inc. - Board of Directors and Technical Consultant for design and construction of lifting, inflatable, steerable foils which could land cargo and/or personnel at a precise spot.
July 1973-January 1974 - Craftech Construction, Inc., Vice President and member of the Board of Directors - Design and construction of economical homes, garages, storage buildings, and hangars of Craftboard and fiberglass.
January 1973-Present - Constant Energy Systems, Inc. - Development of a large energy system to use for metropolitan power and ship engines without use of petrochemicals. Development and sales of improvements to automotive engines to increase their efficiency.
1975 - Vice President for Research and Development for Walter E. Disney Enterprises, Inc., the research and development subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions located in Glendale, California.


Click here to return to the SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK HOME PAGE.

ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY