Gordon Cooper

Easton Press Gordon Cooper books

We Seven - Signed by Gordon Cooper, Scott Carpenter and John Glenn as part of the 6 volume Astronaut Library - 1997
Leap of Faith : An Astronaut's Journey into the Unknown - Signed Edition - 2000

Gordon Cooper Astronaut

Gordon Cooper, born Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. on March 6, 1927, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, was an American astronaut and one of the original seven astronauts selected for NASA's Project Mercury, the United States' first manned space program. Cooper's journey into the realm of space exploration began with a distinguished career in the United States Air Force. He served as a fighter pilot and test pilot, accumulating significant flight experience before being chosen as one of the Mercury Seven astronauts in 1959.

On May 15-16, 1963, Gordon Cooper piloted the Faith 7 spacecraft, becoming the last American to fly in space alone. His mission, Mercury-Atlas 9, orbited the Earth 22 times, and Cooper spent more than 34 hours in space. Notably, he demonstrated the ability to control the spacecraft manually when necessary, showcasing the skills and adaptability required of early astronauts. Cooper's career continued with NASA as the space program evolved. He played a key role in the Gemini and Apollo programs, contributing to the development of spaceflight techniques and technologies. His achievements in space earned him the Collier Trophy for "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America" in 1963.

One of the notable aspects of Gordon Cooper's legacy is his involvement in the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program, which aimed to create a military space station. Although the program was eventually canceled, it laid the groundwork for future space station initiatives.

After leaving NASA in 1970, Cooper pursued private ventures and business interests. In his later years, he continued to advocate for space exploration and shared his experiences through public speaking engagements and books. His autobiography, Leap of Faith, published in 2000, provides insights into his life and spacefaring adventures. Gordon Cooper passed away on October 4, 2004, at the age of 77. His contributions to the early days of space exploration, his pioneering spirit, and his dedication to advancing human spaceflight have left an indelible mark on the history of space exploration in the United States.


Leap of Faith - An Astronaut's Journey Into the Unknown

Gordon Cooper was one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, a select group of the nation's top military test pilots who braved the frontiers of space back when strapping yourself to a rocket meant you would be either 100 miles up or 6' under. Today he's a part of our nation's history as one of the surviving Mercury space pioneers. Leap of Faith not only reveals what went on behind the scenes of the early space program, but also takes aim at the next millennium of space travel with strong views on the existence of extraterrestrial intelligence and even the distinct possibility we've already had contact. During his military career, he was one of the best of the best at Edwards Air Force Base, where the setting of world records for speed, endurance & altitude was an everyday occurrence. Even before joining the newly formed manned space program, he understood the dangerous nature of new technologies: hanging it over the edge & pushing the envelope, then hauling it back in & doing it again tomorrow.
Gordon Cooper learned to fly with his father at age 8 in his hometown of Shawnee, OK, soloing by age 12. As an impressionable boy, he met overnight visitors to the household, including famous aviators like Amelia Earhart & Wiley Post, heightening his desire to take to the skies.
Ride with Cooper thru his adventurous life in the cockpits of planes & spacecraft alike. He was the last American to go into space alone. He flew in Mercury & Gemini, & served as head of flight crew operations for both Apollo and Skylab, America's 1st orbiting space station. He was backup command pilot for Apollo X & directed design input changes for the shuttle program. He was buddies with Gus Grissom, who died in the Apollo I fire at Cape Canaveral, & was close to Wernher von Braun, the German rocket scientist who was responsible for the USA beating Russia to the Moon. Thru it all, Cooper, a hero who shuns the label, speaks candidly of his defeats as well as his accomplishments. His life is a tapestry of space travel in the 20th century.
From a source as credible as Cooper come these claims: He innocently took revealing pictures of the mysterious Area 51 during his Gemini mission & ended up in the White House speaking about it to the president; he & other military jet pilots have chased UFOs; and footage of UFOs taken by his film crew was confiscated by the government, all part of the military's long-time UFO cover-up.


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