Gordon Alfred Swann was born in Palisade, CO, September 21, 1931. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1956, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 1962 as one of the pioneers in a study of the Precambrian geology of the Front Range of Colorado. His career in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began in Denver in 1963 working on a Defense Department project on the effects of high-pressure and high–intensity shock on rocks. In March 1964, he was assigned to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, TX to work with USGS geologist Dale Jackson to train astronauts to perform scientific investigations in the field. In December 1964 he moved to Flagstaff as a permanent employee of the Manned Studies Group working on field studies in support of the national space flight program. Gordon’s focus was on the development and testing of lunar geologic exploration procedures for Project Apollo and beyond, and his early contributions included recognition of the value of a sun compass for orientation, a rock hammer for sampling, and development of Sample Return Containers that resembled pressure cookers for storing and returning lunar rock samples to Earth.