“An exciting insider’s look at Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo . . . NASA’s internal politics, disasters, glitches and close calls” by a pioneering astronaut (Publishers Weekly).
Gordon “Gordo” Cooper was one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, pilot for Apollo X, head of flight crew operations for the United States’ first orbiting space station, and the last American to venture into space alone. Stretching from the dawning days of NASA to the far reaches of the unknown, Cooper’s distinguished career as a record-setting astronaut helped shape America’s space program and blazed a trail for generations to come.
In this astonishing memoir—written with #1 New York Times bestseller Bruce Henderson—Cooper crosses paths with such aviation luminaries as Amelia Earhart, Wiley Post, and German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun; he shares his early days at Edwards Air Force Base and the endeavors that became the basis for The Right Stuff; he takes us inside NASA with candid accounts of his defeats and accomplishments; he reflects on the triumphs and tragedies of his heroic colleagues; and he finally reveals the reasons behind his belief in extraterrestrial intelligence, including the US military’s long-standing UFO cover-ups.
Buckle yourself in for a breathtaking ride because in Leap of Faith, Gordon Cooper takes readers to places they’ve never been before.
In this engaging memoir, Mercury 7 astronaut Cooper adds his compelling voice to the chorus of critics charging a U.S. governmental coverup of the UFO phenomenon. Written in the first person with Henderson (coauthor of And the Sea Will Tell), this book will challenge UFO skeptics and believers alike. On the one hand, Cooper states that, despite many reports to the contrary, neither he nor other astronauts saw UFOs in outer space. On the other hand, he reports that in 1951, as a young air force pilot based in Germany, he chased saucer-shaped UFOs, and that groups of UFOs passed over the base daily at speeds far superior to any manmade craft. In 1957, at Edwards Air Force Base in the California desert, Cooper was given photographs of a "classic saucer" that had reportedly landed at the top-secret military installation. He sent the photos to a Pentagon general, but never heard about the matter again. In the late 1970s, Cooper (who's now an aeronautical designer) unsuccessfully tried to launch a research company devoted to free worldwide energy transmission using Nikola Tesla's discoveries, as well as to advanced medical devices and other projects. His partner in this venture, Valerie Ransone, claims to receive scientifically useful telepathic transmissions from extraterrestrial sources. The story gets a lot weirder, as Cooper agrees to join Ransone in the Arizona desert for a telepathically arranged rendezvous with a UFO. Joining them at this alleged meeting (which was canceled) was Atlas missile aerospace engineer Dan Fry, who claims to have flown over Texas on board a UFO in 1950. On a more mundane level, Cooper's reminiscence offers an exciting insider's look at Projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, full of startling details about NASA's internal politics, disasters, glitches and close calls. 16 pages of color photos.