Monday, October 04, 2004


It just seemed fitting. On the day when Burt Rutan's SPACESHIP ONE captured the XPrize for the first privately developed space craft to achieve sub-orbital flight into space, the last American astronaut to orbit the earth alone died peacefully at his home in Ventura, California.

Astronaut Gordon Cooper quietly passed away at the age of 77 - symbolically passing the torch, in a way, to a new breed of astronaut, helped pioneer the age of manned spaceflight in NASA's MERCURY program.

Gordo is once again seeing the "heavenly light" that he described on his orbital flight back in 1963 aboard Faith 7, and joins his old Gemini 5 crewmate - Pete Conrad, who perished in a motorcyle accident in Ojai back in 1999.

Viya Con Dios, Gordo.


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