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11-21-2017 05:34 AM
Astronaut Richard Gordon passes at 88

Richard “Dick” Gordon, a Navy test pilot-turned-astronaut who pioneered spacewalking procedures and orbited the moon, died at his home this week in California. He was 88.Gordon was a two-time space flier, serving as pilot on the Gemini 11 mission in 1966 and command module pilot on Apollo 12 in 1969, logging more than 13 days in space.

Born on Oct. 5, 1929 in Seattle, Gordon received a degree in chemistry from the University of Washington in 1951 and joined the Navy, earning his wings as a naval aviator in 1953 before his assignment as a fighter pilot. He attended the Navy’s Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, and won the Bendix Trophy Race from Los Angeles to New York in 1961, flying an F-4 Phantom jet to set a transcontinental speed record of 2 hours and 47 minutes.Gordon was selected for NASA’s astronaut corps in 1963, served as a backup pilot on the Gemini 8 mission, then was named a prime crew member on Gemini 11 with Charles “Pete” Conrad, a fellow Navy pilot.

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