Rest In Paradise, Richard F. Gordon, Jr.

NASA photo, labeled Sept. 22, 1969: “These three astronauts have been named by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as the prime crew of the Apollo 12 lunar landing mission. Left to right are Charles Conrad Jr., Richard F. Gordon Jr., and Alan L. Bean.”

The space community has lost too many legends this year from the Apollo era, and today we lost one more: the congenial Dick Gordon, Gemini 11 pilot and Apollo 12 command module pilot. I’m personally a bit too numb from all the losses to write anything profound; linked here is an obituary from collectSPACE, which sums up Gordon’s life and career more beautifully than I could. 

Dick Gordon was a warm, funny, always enthusiastic man, and a friend to everyone. That’s how I will remember him. The photo above shows him in his prime years at NASA, posing with the Ultimate Apollo Dream Crew – three best friends who braved a freakin’ LIGHTNING STRIKE to pull off one of the program’s most successful, memorable missions.

Feel free to leave your memories of Gordon in the comments’ section. I send my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.


Emily Carney is a writer, space enthusiast, and creator of the This Space Available space blog, published since 2010. In January 2019, Emily’s This Space Available blog was incorporated into the National Space Society’s blog. The content of Emily’s blog can be accessed via the This Space Available blog category.

Note: The views expressed in This Space Available are those of the author and should not be considered as representing the positions or views of the National Space Society.

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Emily Carney

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