L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., and the Final Mercury Mission

Colin Burgess

FAITH 7: L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., and the Final Mercury Mission In May 1963 the courage of NASA astronaut Gordon Cooper and the capabiity of Faith 7, a Mercury capsule, were stretched to their limits. Toward the end of a 22-orbit mission, in an overheated spacecraft crippled by unresponsive electrical and control systems, Cooper had to manually complete a perilous, fiery re-entry. His survival, and that of NASA's space program, depended entirely on his experience, piloting skills and coolness under extreme pressure.

Major Leroy Gordon Cooper's record-breaking spaceflight brought to an end the operational phase of America's first manned space progam, Project Mercury. The last American ever to be launched into Earth orbit alone, Cooper logged more time on his Mercury mission than all of NASA's previous astronauts combined. In the later book and film The Right Stuff, the youngest member of the famed Mercury astronauts was awarded the sobriquet of 'the greatest pilot you ever saw'. However, NASA did not agree, and though he flew on the Gemini V mission in August 1965, his once-stellar astronaut career would end in frustration, and bitter disappointment.

What had happened? Drawn from literally dozens of personal interviews and contemporary accounts, noted spaceflight historian Colin Burgess here recounts the extraordinary and compelling story of a legendary opioneer of American space exloration.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Alfred M. Worden
Author's prologue

1. The spaceman from Shawnee, Oklahoma
2. To be the best
3. Final preparations
4. Last man up in Mercury
5. "Right on the old Gazoo!"
6. 7. A hero returns
8. "Eight days or bust"
9. Closing doors

Epilogue: The final journey
About the author

Extent: 291 pages, Black and white/colour images integrated with text
Binding: Paperback
Published: 2016
ISBN: 978-3-319-30562-2

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