Apollo 12 astronaut Richard Gordon dies at 88

Portrait of Astronaut Richard F. Gordon Jr. (10 Sept. 1964)
Credits: NASA

Former NASA astronaut Richard Gordan died on November 6, he was 88-years-old. Gordon was the command module pilot on Apollo 12, the second mission to land on the moon.

“NASA and the nation have lost one of our early space pioneers.” said Robert Lightfoot, the acting NASA Administrator, in a statement on Gordon’s passing. “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.”

“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. He will be missed.”

Gordon became an astronaut in 1963 and spent more than 316 hours in space on two missions. He was the pilot for the three-day Gemini 11 mission in 1966 and performed two spacewalks.

Astronaut Dick Gordon stands in the open spacecraft hatch during the Gemini XI mission. Credits: NASA/Pete Conrad

Gordon made a second flight in 1969 as command pilot on Apollo 12. 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.”

Since retiring from NASA, Gordon served as Executive Vice President of the New Orleans Saints Professional Football Club in the NFL and was an executive at several companies in the oil and gas, engineering and technology industries.

Information provided by NASA