March 6th was the birthday of Leroy Gordon “Gordo” Cooper Jr., (1927) in Shawnee Oklahoma. This U.S. Air Force pilot and astronaut, who was aboard Mercury 9 and Gemini 5, had his exploits well documented in Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff, and in the well-done film of the same name. Cooper died at age 77 from heart failure at his home in Ventura, California, on October 4, 2004.
Coincidentally, this is also the birthday of Valentina Tereshkova (born 1937), a Soviet cosmonaut and the first woman in space (aboard Vostok 6). She was born in Maslennikovo, USSR.