Gordon Cooper, American astronaut

Gordon Cooper, American astronaut

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Caption: Gordon Cooper (1927-2004), American astronaut on his way to the launchpad prior to the launch of the Mercury 9 mission on 15th May 1963. Leroy Gordon Cooper was the first American to sleep in orbit and flew the longest spaceflight of Project Mercury. Mercury-Atlas 9 (MA-9) was the last manned spaceflight of the US Mercury program. The mission was successful with Cooper completing 22 orbits in the Faith 7 spacecraft. Photographed at Launch Complex 14, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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