NASA astronaut Dick Gordon, pilot of Apollo 12, dead at 88

Richard Gordon, former Apollo 12 astronaut, Saints executive VP, dies at 88

Richard Gordon, former Apollo 12 astronaut, Saints executive VP, dies at 88

He was, in fact, slated to command the Apollo 18 mission that would land on the moon, but it was cut for budget reasons. While other the astronauts, spacecraft commander, Charles Conrad and lunar module pilot, Alan Bean, spent 31-hours on the lunar surface, Gordon remained in orbit around the moon on the command module, "Yankee Clipper".

NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said, "Dick will be fondly remembered as one of our nation's boldest flyers, a man who added to our own nation's capabilities by challenging his own".

Dick Gordon, a former NASA astronaut and the command module pilot on Apollo 12, died Monday at the age of 88.

Richard F. Gordon Jr. was born in Seattle on Oct. 5, 1929.

"Once I found out what that airplane could do for me or I could do for it, it was love at first sight", he once said.

Gordon served with Fighter Squadron 121 at Miramar Naval Air Station as a flight instructor in the F4H and took part in the introduction of that aircraft to the Atlantic and Pacific fleets, said spaceref.com.

Gordon described the Apollo 12 mission, the second moon landing, as full of antics and dust. "We send our condolences to the family and loved ones of Gemini and Apollo astronaut Richard Gordon, a hero from NASA's third class of astronauts". I didn't see them at all. He was the pilot for the three-day Gemini 11 mission in 1966 and performed two spacewalks.

"How are you doing?" asked Conrad. "It's just devoid of any color whatsoever". He went on to be an executive in energy and science companies.

NASA made it to the moon by the end of the 1960s because it overcame and learned from obstacles like this one. He was disappointed he never got to walk on the moon but proud of his NASA tenure.

After retiring from NASA in 1972, he became executive vice president of the New Orleans Saints football team.

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