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Thumbnail of Richard F. Gordon, Jr. (source)
Richard F. Gordon, Jr.
(5 Oct 1929 - )

American astronaut and pilot who was the pilot for the three-day Gemini XI mission (1966), on which he made two extra-vehicular activities. He also flew for ten days in space on Apollo XII (1969).

Richard F. Gordon
“Nothing between you and oblivion”

Illustrated Quote - Large (800 x 400 px)

Thumbnail of Richard Gordon on extravehicular activity in space working on the tethered Agena target space vehicle.
Spacewalk (Sep 1966) (source)
“There’s nothing between you and oblivion except a pressure suit … you simply have to take your time, and you can’t exhaust yourself.”
— Richard F. Gordon
AP feed newspaper article (7 Sep 1966).

More Richard F. Gordon quotes on science >>

Richard Gordon was the pilot of the three-day Gemini XI mission which was launched on 12 Sep 1966. The first task was to made a rendezvous and dock with an Agena target vehicle previously launched for the purpose. Gordon then performed an extravehicular activity (EVA) to tether the Agena to the Gemini capsule. The muscular effort involved was exhausting and overstressed his life-support system. Heavy perspiration dripped into one eye and required cutting short any further planned activity and return to the inside of the Gemini capsule. After a sleep period, Gordon continued with another spacewalk to complete more planned activities.

Prior to the launch, various newspaper articles were published regionally based on the Associated Press feed introducing the astronaut, the spaceflight and its planned mission activities. The feed included quotes from an interview with Gordon.

One quote from the interview was given as:

There’s nothing between you and oblivion except a pressure suit, and you just can’t afford to get out there and get in a big rush and tangle yourself up where nobody can help you.

Another quote was given separately as:

The biggest thing I’ve learned from the people that have gone in the past, you simply have to take your time, and you can’t exhaust yourself.

Text from Bridgewater, NJ, The Courier-News (7 Sep 1966), 8.

See also:
  • Science Quotes by Richard F. Gordon, Jr..
  • 5 Oct - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Gordon's birth.
  • Richard F. Gordon - context of quote “Nothing between you and oblivion” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)

Nature bears long with those who wrong her. She is patient under abuse. But when abuse has gone too far, when the time of reckoning finally comes, she is equally slow to be appeased and to turn away her wrath. (1882) -- Nathaniel Egleston, who was writing then about deforestation, but speaks equally well about the danger of climate change today.
Carl Sagan Thumbnail Carl Sagan: In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) ...(more by Sagan)

Albert Einstein: I used to wonder how it comes about that the electron is negative. Negative-positive—these are perfectly symmetric in physics. There is no reason whatever to prefer one to the other. Then why is the electron negative? I thought about this for a long time and at last all I could think was “It won the fight!” ...(more by Einstein)

Richard Feynman: It is the facts that matter, not the proofs. Physics can progress without the proofs, but we can't go on without the facts ... if the facts are right, then the proofs are a matter of playing around with the algebra correctly. ...(more by Feynman)
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