Astronaut Dick Gordon who flew to the moon but never got a chance to walk on the surface has died at his California home at age 88, according to NASA.
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. He will be missed.”
Gordon never thought he would be a pilot — let alone an astronaut who would be one of just 24 people to fly to the moon. In fact, as a young boy, born during the Great Depression in 1929, he actually dreamed of being a priest or even a professional baseball player.
Former NASA astronaut Richard Gordon, command module pilot on Apollo 12, the second lunar landing mission, passed away on Nov. 6, 2017.
Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement on Gordon’s passing: “NASA and the nation have lost one of our early space pioneers. 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.”
“All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.” —IBM Manual, 1925
And, had it not been cancelled so part of its Saturn V could be turned into Skylab, Gordon would’ve walked on the moon in the 1970s as the commander of Apollo 20.
By the way, if you have access to the DVDs of the 1998 HBO series From The Earth To The Moon, the episode “That’s All There Is” is awesome in its interesting perspective on the Apollo 12 mission and the personalities of the crew.