Noted Gemini, Apollo astronaut dies at 88

ORLANDO, Fla. — Space pioneer Richard Gordon, Jr. has died at age 88, according to an announcement by the Orlando-based Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

“Dick Gordon is an American hero, and a true renaissance man by any measure. He was an American naval officer and aviator, chemist, test pilot, NASA astronaut, professional football executive, oil and gas executive and generous contributor to worthy causes,” said Curt Brown, board chairman of the Foundation.

Gordon first went into space as pilot of Gemini 11 in September 1966. Three years later, he piloted the command module for Apollo 12.

Gordon also published several technical papers for the Navy and NASA before retiring at the rank of Captain in 1972, according to the Foundation.

He was inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center in 1993. Gordon died Monday at his home in California.

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