NASA has confirmed that former astronaut C. Gordon Fullerton passed away on August 21, 2013. Fullerton was a part of the NASA astronaut corps from September 1969 to November 1986, after a career as an Air Force test pilot, and was a member of the flight crews that piloted space shuttle Enterprise during the 1977 Approach and Landing Test program at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center.
Throughout his Air Force and NASA career, Fullerton piloted more than 135 different types of aircraft during more than 16,000 flight hours, and logged 382 hours in space. He served on two space shuttle missions: the eight-day STS-3 space shuttle orbital flight test mission and the STS-51F Spacelab 2 mission. He then worked as a research test pilot at Dryden and as association director of flight operations, where he tested, researched, and evaluated a variety of aircraft.
On active duty in the Air Force for 30 years, Fullerton rose to the rank of colonel and retired from the Air Force in 1988. He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2005, and retired from NASA in 2007. According to NASA, Fullerton suffered a severe stroke in late 2009 and dealt with declining health ever since. He was 76 years old.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which houses Enterprise, will be lowering a flag to half-mast and will present that flag to Fullerton’s wife Marie, who was here in 2012 for the opening of the Museum’s Space Shuttle Pavilion.