American aeronautical engineer, test pilot and one of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned space program of the United States. Piloted the longest and final Mercury spaceflight in 1963. He was the first American to sleep in space during that 34-hour mission and was the last American to be launched alone to conduct an entirely solo orbital mission. In 1965, Cooper flew as command pilot of Gemini 5.
Impressive original degree issued to Cooper from the Air University Institute of Technology. The document measures approximately 11×8 and reads:
Institute of Technology
United States Air Force
Be it know that
Leroy G. Cooper, Jr.
has satisfied all requirements for the degree of
Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering
In Recognition Whereof, and by authority bested in us,
the degree has been conferred and this diploma granted.
Given at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohop,
this twenty-eighth day of August
nineteen hundred fifty-six
There are two printed signatures of the Commandant and Commander of the Air University. To the left is the Air University’s Official stamp.
The diploma is housed in a grey mat and shows edge burns and toning. Accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity from Farthest Reaches who worked with the Cooper family in selling some of their artifacts.
Cooper studied for two years at the Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio and in 1956 completed his Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering (the very diploma we offer here). Cooper was then assigned to the Experimental Flight Test School at Edwards Air Force Base in California, and after graduation was posted to the Flight Test Engineering Division at Edwards, where he served as a test pilot and project manager testing the F-102A and F-106B. Cooper logged more than 7,000 hours of flight time, with 4,000 hours in jet aircraft. He flew all types of commercial and general aviation airplanes and helicopters.