C. Gordon Fullerton


C. (Charles) Gordon Fullerton, a Colonel in the United States Air Force (Retired), was born on October 11, 1936 in Rochester, New York. In addition to his two space flights, Fullerton had flown the orbiter Enterprise as pilot alongside Fred Haise during the Approach and Landing Tests program in 1977. He also served as part of the support crew for Apollo 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Fullerton died on August 21, 2013 in Lancaster, California. He had been in declining health since suffering a stroke in 2009.

NASA Biography

Space Flights:

  • Pilot, STS-3, Columbia, March 22-30, 1982. Third test flight of Columbia, deployed the 50-foot Remote Manipulator System for the first time. Columbia landed at White Sands, New Mexico for the first and only time in the shuttle program because Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base was too wet
  • Commander, STS-51F, Challenger, July 29-August 6, 1985. Spacelab 2, a pallet-only Spacelab mission.

Total Hours in Space: 382

Astronaut Groups: U.S. Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program Group 2-June 30, 1966, NASA Group 7-August 14, 1969.

Degrees: B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, in 1957 and 1958, respectively.

Military Service & Awards: Entered the U.S. Air Force in 1958 after working as a mechanical design engineer for Hughes Aircraft Company. He was trained as an F-86 pilot and later flew the B-47 bomber. He later served as a test pilot before joining the Manned Orbiting Laboratory program. He logged more than 16,000 hours of flying time in 135 different types of aircraft. Awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Interred at Arlington National Cemetery: November 15, 2013

Section: 46
Grave: 670
Grid: O-22/23

How to locate: Located close to the Columbia and Challenger memorials and just to the south of the mast of the U.S.S. Maine near the Memorial Amphitheater.

Fullerton headstone front