Gordon Cooper... Oct 5, 2004 0:35:37 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 5, 2004 0:35:37 GMT -6
Gordon Cooper Dead at 77
One of the Original Mercury Seven Astronauts has passed on at age 77. Cooper was one of the outspoken astronauts that elaborated on the blanket of silence that NASA imposed on all astronauts regarding the area of UFO's and possible life out side of Earth...
One of the first U.S. astronauts, Leroy Gordon Cooper, who logged more than 225 hours in space, died Monday at his California home at age 77. CNN reported the details of Cooper's death had not yet been released.
A native of Oklahoma, Cooper entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1945 and later became a test pilot. In 1959, Cooper, along with Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, M. Scott Carpenter, Walter Schirra Jr. and Deke Slayton, was named a Project Mercury astronaut.
I would have liked to have been one of the crew that landed on the moon, but it just didn't work out that way, Cooper told CNN in 2000, adding in-house politics kept him off the moon flight. I certainly don't harbor any bitterness or anger.
After retiring from NASA and the U.S. Air Force as a colonel in 1970, he served as a technical consultant to aerospace, electronics and energy firms and as vice president for research and development for Walter E. Disney Enterprises Inc.
After his NASA and military retirement, Cooper accused the U.S. government of covering up its knowledge of extraterrestrial activity.
For many years I have lived with a secret ... I can now reveal that every day, in the U.S.A., our radar instruments capture objects of form and composition unknown to us, he said.
Not only was he a man's man, part of the first brave Americans in manned space exploration, but he had the gumption to speak of subjects taboo and under penalty of punishment. And as a result, he was knocked out of consideration for any Apollo mission. I believe that all of the original seven should have been granted the honor of a moon shot. Astronaut Deke Slayton also got shafted.
Here Cooper and the other 6 astronauts were truly explorers of the unknown, who grabbed the opportunity to be boosted into space by sitting on top of volatile explosives. Hell, every other rocket blew up they tested! The movie "The Right Stuff" was loosely based on him and his cockiness. Imagine knowing that the controlled bomb you were riding was put together by the lowest bidder!
It's incredible that these archaic machines flew! Just look at the analog instrument panel that they used to fly their space crafts. Amazing! And the Apollo landers weren't that much better. But it certainly proved that grit, real smarts and plain bravado can get the job done successfully. NASA needs people like Cooper, Glenn, Kranz and Armstrong...right now.
With his death, we lose not only a great American explorer, but one who was willing to share secrets and knowledge that is kept from the general public. Former Astronaut Edgar Mitchell also states that there are things out there in space directly viewed by our astronauts kept silenced.
We thank Astronaut Gordon Cooper for his part in American Space Flight history.