1927 – 2004 Astronaut
Born in Oklahoma, Cooper was commissioned in the US Army, but transferred to the US Air Force, where he served as a fighter pilot and then as a test pilot. Cooper was among the first seven NASA astronauts and flew the last solo Mercury mission (Faith 7) in 1963, the longest-duration space mission of the time. Due to a failure in the automatic control systems, Cooper was forced to rely on his piloting skills during re-entry, saving what would otherwise have been a disaster. He later commanded the Gemini 5 mission in 1965. He left NASA in 1970 to return to the Air Force and later held numerous posts in industry.
Carbondale Lodge No. 82, Colorado
“Father, we thank you, especially for letting me fly this flight – for the privilege of being able to be in this position, to be in this wondrous place, seeing all these wonderful things that you have created.”