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🚨Major Cooper Lands Safely in Pacific

May 16, 1963 - Major Gordon Cooper landed safely in the Pacific today after a magnificently executed 22-orbit flight. The closing phase of his flight was highlighted by a dramatic descent from orbit during which the astronaut guided himself to safety by manually controlling his capsule when his automatic controls failed. The astronaut was picked up in his Faith 7 capsule by the carrier Kearsarge after a bullseye landing about 115 miles east-southeast of Midway Island. Major Cooper’s flight of 34 hours 20 minutes ended at 7:42 p.m., Eastern daylight time. It lasted almost four times as long as the longest previously flown by an American. In all, Major Cooper flew about 600,000 miles in an orbit that ranged between a low point of 100.2 miles and a high point of 165.8 miles. While the flight’s duration fell far short of the four- and three-day missions flown by two Russians last summer, no one at Cape Canaveral could conceive that the Soviet feat had been more expertly carried out.


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