LANCASTER, Calif. — C. Gordon Fullerton, a former astronaut who flew on two space shuttle missions and had an extensive career as a research and test pilot for NASA and the Air Force, died Wednesday, the space agency said. He was 76.
Mr. Fullerton suffered a severe stroke in 2009 and had been confined to a long-term care facility in Lancaster for most of the past 3½ years, NASA said in a statement.
An astronaut from 1969 to 1986, Mr. Fullerton spent 382 hours in space on his shuttle missions and flew more than 135 different types of aircraft as a test pilot, amassing more than 16,000 flight hours. Mr. Fullerton soared into orbit aboard the shuttle Columbia in March 1982 on an eight-day flight test. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.