Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058
In 1957, he attended the Navy's Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, and served as a flight test pilot until 1960. During this tour of duty, he did flight test work on the F8U Crusader, F11F Tigercat, FJ Fury, and A4D Skyhawk, and was the first project test pilot for the F4H Phantom II.
He served with Fighter Squadron 121 at the Miramar, California, Naval Air Station as a flight instructor in the F4H and participated in the introduction of that aircraft to the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. He was also flight safety officer, assistant operations officer, and ground training officer for Fighter Squadron 96 at Miramar.
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.
He was also a student at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, California.
He has logged more than 4,500 hours flying time, including 3,500 hours in set aircraft.
Gordon was subsequently assigned as backup command module pilot for Apollo 9. He occupied the command module pilot seat on Apollo 12, November 14-24, 1969. Other crewmen on man's second lunar landing mission were Charles Conrad, spacecraft commander, and Alan L. Bean, lunar module pilot. Throughout the 31 hour lunar surface stay by Conrad and Bean, Gordon remained in lunar orbit aboard the command module, "Yankee Clipper," obtaining desired mapping photographs of tentative landing sites for future missions. He also performed the final redocking maneuvers following the successful lunar orbit rendezvous which was initiated by Conrad and Bean from within "Intrepid" after their ascent from the Moon's surface.
All of the mission's objectives were accomplished, and Apollo 12 achievements include: the precision lunar landing with "Intrepid's" touchdown in the Moon's Ocean of Storms; and the first lunar traverse by Conrad and Bean as they deployed the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package (ALSEP), installed a nuclear power generator station to provide the power source for these long-term scientific experiments, gathered samples of the lunar surface for return to Earth, and completed a close-up inspection of the Surveyor III spacecraft.
The Apollo 12 mission lasted 244 hours and 36 minutes and was concluded with a Pacific splashdown and subsequent recovery operations by the USS HORNET.
Gordon completed two space flights, logging a total of 315 hours and 53 minutes in space, of which 2 hours and 44 minutes were spent in EVA.
He served as backup spacecraft commander for Apollo 15. At the completion of the Apollo 15 flight in 1971, Gordon was given new responsibilities as Chief, Advanced Programs of the Astronaut Office, and worked on the design and testing of the Shuttle and Development Equipment.
In April 1977, Gordon returned to Houston at the request of Mecom to act as the General Manager of Energy Developers, Limited (EDL), a Texas Partnership involved in a joint venture with Rocket Research Corporation for the development of a liquid chemical explosive for use in the oil and gas industry. In addition, Gordon was engaged in the utilization of space technology for application to our Earth resources as it applied to the discovery and development of oil and gas resources.
In May 1978, Gordon became President of Resolution Engineering and Development Company (REDCO). REDCO provides design and operational requirements for wild oil well control and fire fighting equipment on board a large semisubmersible utility vessel designed by REDCO and the Southeast Drilling Co. (SEDCO) for operation in the North Sea. Two vessels are presently operating in the North Sea for Phillips Petroleum and Occidental of Britain. Gordon also participated in North Sea production platform safety inspections under the auspices of Red Adair Company for Shell/Esso in the Brent and Cormorant field and for Mobil in the Statford Fields. He was also responsible for the preparation and presentation of the technical report submitted to the respective management personnel for the above companies in London, England; Aberdeen, Scotland; and Stavanger, Norway.
In January 1980, after the merger of REDCO with Amarco Resources, Gordon assumed the additional duties of Vice President for Marketing, Westdale, an oil well servicing subsidiary of AMARCO operating in North Central Texas and Oklahoma. Responsibilities included eatablishment and maintenance of customer files, direct contact with the customer at the management level, analysis of new areas of operation and acquisition possibilities for expansion purposes, and the introduction of allied equipment for the well servicing business of the company.
In August 1980, additional responsibilities of Vice President for Operations, Texas Division were assumed. This included the operation of 17 well servicing rigs and 8 pump/transport trucks in Jacksboro and Rule, Texas, as well as the supervision of 92 operational personnel and support staff. From September 1981 to February 1983, Gordon accepted the position of Director: Scott Science and Technology, Inc., Los Angeles Division. He was responsible for all systems management activities of the company in the Los Angeles area. Scott Science and Technology, Inc., is an international corporation dedicated to the commercial application of advanced technology. Based on the expertise residing within the firms, as well as the accessibility of advanced technology in the aerospace community, the company conducts research and development, project management, and product improvement activities to enhance the products, processes, and services of business and industry.
In March 1982, Mr. Gordon became President of Astro Sciences Corporation, which was incorporated as Astro Systems and Engineering, Inc., Los Angeles, California. He is responsible as the CEO of Astro Sciences Corporation (a subsidary of Transworld Services, Inc., of which he is a Corporate Vice President) for all activities of the company. The company provides a versatile range of services including engineering, project management, project field support teams, and product support activities. Software and hardware system design for control room applications has also become a recent product. In the Summer of 1984, Gordon was a Technical Advisor for and played the part of "Capcom" in the CBS miniseries SPACE, by James A. Michener.
ARCHIVAL BIOGRAPHY LAST UPDATED AUGUST 1985