Encyclopedia Astronautica
Gemini



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Gemini preflight
Gemini spacecraft being prepared in the shop.
Credit: NASA
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Gemini6 in orbit
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Credit: NASA
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Gemini Spacecraft
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Gemini Control Panel
Control panel of the basic Gemini (454 x 383 pixel image).
Credit: NASA
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Gemini-Agena
Gemini docked to Agena
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Gemini Control Panel
Control panel of the basic Gemini (903 x 765 pixel image).
Credit: NASA
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Gemini Control Panel
Gemini Control Panel - close-up of the command astronaut (left hand seat) controls.
Credit: NASA
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Gemini Control Panel
Gemini Control Panel - close-up of the second astronaut (right hand side) controls.
Credit: NASA
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Gemini Control Panel
Gemini Control Panel - close-up of the centre panel and overhead controls.
Credit: NASA
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Gemini Control Panel
Gemini control panel - close-up of the pedestal controls between the two astronauts.
Credit: NASA
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Titan 2 Gemini
The Titan 2 ICBM was used for launch of the Gemini manned spacecraft.
Credit: NASA
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Mercury II Station
Credit: NASA
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Gemini Paraglider
Credit: McDonnell Douglas
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Gemini
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Early Gemini Concept
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 6 in orbit
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Credit: NASA
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Gemini6 in orbit
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Credit: NASA
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Gemini6 in orbit
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Credit: NASA
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Gemini6 in orbit
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Credit: NASA
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Gemini 6 3
View of Gemini 6 during the Gemini 6 and 7 first space rendezvous.
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 6 2
View of Gemini 6 during the Gemini 6 and 7 first space rendezvous.
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 6
View of Gemini 6 during the Gemini 6 and 7 first space rendezvous.
Credit: NASA
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Gemini6 in orbit
Gemini6 in orbit view
Credit: NASA
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Gemini Variants
Modest modifications of Gemini proposed by McDonnell Douglas as a follow-on to the basic program (927 x 723 pixel version).
Credit: McDonnell Douglas
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Gemini with MORL
Gemini docked with MORL. Note lack of a docking hatch in Gemini is accommodated by having docking collar as large as the base of the Gemini re-entry vehicle itself.
Credit: US Air Force
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Gemini Advanced
More advanced versions of Gemini proposed by McDonnell Douglas as a follow-on to the basic program (927 x 723 pixel version).
Credit: McDonnell Douglas
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Gemini 5
Astronauts Cooper and Conrad in Gemini spacecraft just after insertion
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 5
Astronaut Charles Conrad inside the Gemini 5 spacecraft after launch
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 8
Astronauts Scott and Armstrong inserted into Gemini 8 spacecraft
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 8
Gemini 8 spacecraft hoisted aboard the U.S.S. Leonard F. Mason
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 9
View of the nose of the Gemini 9 spacecraft taken from hatch of spacecraft
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 9
Close-up view of Gemini 9 spacecraft taken during EVA
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 9
Gemini 9-A spacecraft touches down in the Atlantic at end of mission
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 9
Gemini 9 spacecraft recovery operations
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 9
Gemini 9 astronauts await recovery operations
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 9
Gemini 9-A spacecraft touches down in the Atlantic at end of mission
Credit: NASA
American manned spacecraft. 12 launches, 1964.04.08 (Gemini 1) to 1966.11.11 (Gemini 12). It was obvious to NASA that there was a big gap of three to four years between the last Mercury flight and the first scheduled Apollo flight.

There would therefore be no experience in the US in understanding the problems of orbital maneuvering, rendezvous, docking, lifting re-entry, and space walking before the Apollo flights, which required all of these to be successfully accomplished to complete the lunar landing mission. Gemini began as Mercury Mark II to fill this gap.

The concept was to enlarge the Mercury capsule's basic design to accommodate two crew, provide it with orbital maneuvering capability, use existing boosters to launch it and an existing upper rocket stage as a docking target. The latest aircraft engineering was exploited , resulting in a modularized design that provided easy access to and changeout of equipment mounted external to the crew's pressure vessel.

In many ways the Gemini design was ahead of that of the Apollo, since the project began two years later . The crew station layout was similar to that of the latest military fighters; the capsule was equipped with ejection seats, inertial navigation, the pilot's traditional 8-ball attitude display, and radar. The escape tower used for Mercury was deleted; the propellants used in the Titan II launch vehicle, while toxic, corrosive, poisonous, and self-igniting, did not explode in the manner of the Atlas or Saturn LOX/Kerosene combination. The ejection seats served as the crew escape method in the lower atmosphere, just as in a high-performance aircraft. The seats were also needed for the original landing mode, which involved deployment of a huge inflated Rogallo wing (ancestor of today's hang gliders) with a piloted landing on skids at Edwards Dry Lake. In the event, the wing could not be made to deploy reliably before flights began, so the capsule made a parachute-borne water landing, much to the astronauts' chagrin.

All around the Gemini was considered the ultimate 'pilot's spacecraft', and it was also popular with engineers because of its extremely light weight. The capsule allowed recover of a crew of two for only 50% more than the Mercury capsule weight, and half of the weight per crew member of the Apollo design. The penalty was obvious - it was christened the 'Gusmobile' since diminutive Gus Grissom was the only astronaut who was said to be able to fit into it. The crew member was crammed in, shoulder to shoulder with his partner, his helmet literally scrunched against the hatch, which could be opened for space walks. With the crew unable to fully stretch out unless an EVA was scheduled, living in the capsule was literally painful on the long missions (Gemini 5 and 7). Getting back into the seat and getting the hatch closed in an inflated suit in zero gravity was problematic and would have been impossible if the spacewalking astronaut was incapacitated in even a minor way.

Early on it was proposed that the Gemini could be used for manned circumlunar or lunar missions at a fraction of the cost and much earlier than Apollo. Truth be told, a Gemini launched atop a Titan 3E or Saturn IVB Centaur could have accomplished a circumlunar flight as early as 1966 and, using earth orbit rendezvous techniques, a landing at least a year before Apollo. But the capsule, while perhaps suited as a ferry vehicle to space stations, would have been quite marginal for the lunar mission due to the cramped accommodation. But mainly NASA was fully committed to the Apollo program, which was grounded on a minimum three man crew and minimum 10,000 pound command module weight.

At a cost of 5% of the Apollo project, NASA staged twelve flights, ten of them manned, in the course of which the problems of rendezvous, docking, and learning how to do work in a spacesuit in zero-G were tackled and solved. It was said that not much of this was fed back to Apollo, since the two projects had completely different sets of contractors and there was little cross-fertilization in the rendezvous and docking areas. But it was undeniable that important issues in regard to working in zero-G were discovered and solved and both flight and ground crews gained experience that would make the Apollo flights successful.

Gemini was to have continued to fly into the 1970's as the return capsule of the USAF Manned Orbiting Laboratory program. However with the MOL's cancellation in 1969 work at McDonnell came to an end and the last models of the finest spacecraft ever built were scrapped.

Characteristics

Unit Cost $: 13.000 million. Crew Size: 2. Habitable Volume: 2.55 m3. RCS total impulse: 1,168 kgf-sec. Spacecraft delta v: 98 m/s (321 ft/sec). Electric System: 151.00 kWh. Electric System: 2.16 average kW.

Gross mass: 3,851 kg (8,490 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 3,396 kg (7,486 lb).
Height: 5.67 m (18.60 ft).
Thrust: 706 N (158 lbf).
Specific impulse: 273 s.
First Launch: 1964.04.08.
Last Launch: 1966.11.11.
Number: 12 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Gemini LOR American manned lunar lander. Study 1961. Original Mercury Mark II proposal foresaw a Gemini capsule and a single-crew open cockpit lunar lander undertaking a lunar orbit rendezvous mission, launched by a Titan C-3. More...
  • Gemini AM American manned spacecraft module. 12 launches, 1964.04.08 (Gemini 1) to 1966.11.11 (Gemini 12). More...
  • Gemini EM American manned spacecraft module. 12 launches, 1964.04.08 (Gemini 1) to 1966.11.11 (Gemini 12). More...
  • Gemini RM American manned spacecraft module. 12 launches, 1964.04.08 (Gemini 1) to 1966.11.11 (Gemini 12). More...

See also
  • Gemini The Gusmobile could have conquered space - faster, better cheaper. An endless number of Gemini derivatives would have performed tasks in earth orbit, and flown around and landed on the moon. Could the US have won the moon and space station races at a fraction of the expense? Browse through the many might-have-been Geminis! More...
  • Titan The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...

Associated Flights
  • Gemini 3 Crew: Grissom, Young. First spacecraft to maneuver in orbit. First manned flight of Gemini spacecraft. First American to fly twice into space. Manual reentry, splashed down 97 km from carrier. Backup crew: Schirra, Stafford. More...
  • Gemini 4 Crew: McDivitt, White. First American space walk. First American long-duration spaceflight. Astronaut could barely get back into capsule after spacewalk. Failure of spacecraft computer resulted in high-G ballistic re-entry. Backup crew: Borman, Lovell. More...
  • Gemini 5 Crew: Conrad, Cooper. First American flight to seize duration record from Soviet Union. Mission plan curtailed due to fuel cell problems; mission incredibly boring, spacecraft just drifting to conserve fuel most of the time. Splashed down 145 km from aim point. Backup crew: Armstrong, See. More...
  • Gemini 7 Crew: Borman, Lovell. Record flight duration (14 days) to that date. Incredibly boring mission, made more uncomfortable by the extensive biosensors. Monotony was broken just near the end by the rendezvous with Gemini 6. Backup crew: Collins, White. More...
  • Gemini 6 Crew: Schirra, Stafford. First rendezvous of two spacecraft. Originally was to dock with an Agena target, but this blew up on way to orbit. Decision to rendezvous with upcoming Gemini 7 instead. Mission almost lost when booster ignited, then shut down on pad. Backup crew: Grissom, Young. More...
  • Gemini 8 Crew: Armstrong, Scott. First docking of two spacecraft. After docking with Agena target, a stuck thruster aboard Gemini resulted in the crew nearly blacking out before the resulting spin could be stopped. An emergency landing in the mid-Pacific Ocean followed. Backup crew: Conrad, Gordon. More...
  • Gemini 9 Crew: Cernan, Stafford. Third rendezvous mission of Gemini program. Agena target blew up on way to orbit; substitute target's shroud hung up, docking impossible. EVA almost ended in disaster when astronaut's face plate fogged over; barely able to return to spacecraft. Backup crew: Aldrin, Lovell. More...
  • Gemini 10 Crew: Collins, Young. First free space walk from one spacecraft to another. First rendezvous with two different spacecraft in one flight. Altitude (763 km) record. Exciting mission with successful docking with Agena, flight up to parking orbit where Gemini 8 Agena wa stored. Backup crew: Bean, Williams Clifton. More...
  • Gemini 11 Crew: Conrad, Gordon. Speed (8,003 m/s) and altitude (1,372 km) records. First docking with another spacecraft on first orbit after launch. First test of tethered spacecraft. Backup crew: Anders, Armstrong. More...
  • Gemini 12 Crew: Aldrin, Lovell. First completely successful space walk. Final Gemini flight. Docked and redocked with Agena, demonstrating various Apollo scenarios including manual rendezvous and docking. Successful EVA without overloading suit by use of suitable restraints. Backup crew: Cernan, Cooper. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Atlas The Atlas rocket, originally developed as America's first ICBM, was the basis for most early American space exploration and was that country's most successful medium-lift commercial launch vehicle. It launched America's first astronaut into orbit; the first generations of spy satellites; the first lunar orbiters and landers; the first probes to Venus, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn; and was America's most successful commercial launcher of communications satellites. Its innovative stage-and-a-half and 'balloon tank' design provided the best dry-mass fraction of any launch vehicle ever built. It was retired in 2004 after 576 launches in a 47-year career. More...
  • Titan American orbital launch vehicle. The Titan launch vehicle family was developed by the United States Air Force to meet its medium lift requirements in the 1960's. The designs finally put into production were derived from the Titan II ICBM. Titan outlived the competing NASA Saturn I launch vehicle and the Space Shuttle for military launches. It was finally replaced by the USAF's EELV boosters, the Atlas V and Delta IV. Although conceived as a low-cost, quick-reaction system, Titan was not successful as a commercial launch vehicle. Air Force requirements growth over the years drove its costs up - the Ariane using similar technology provided lower-cost access to space. More...
  • Saturn C-3 The launch vehicle concept considered for a time as the leading contender for the Earth Orbit Rendezvous approach to an American lunar landing. More...
  • Titan II GLV American intercontinental ballistic orbital launch vehicle. Version for launch of Gemini manned spacecraft. Developed in parallel with ICBM version. Differed in having redundancy features in systems and MDS (Malfunction Detection System) installed. More...
  • Saturn V American orbital launch vehicle. America's booster for the Apollo manned lunar landing. The design was frozen before a landing mode was selected; the Saturn V could be used for either Earth-Orbit-Rendezvous or Lunar-Orbit-Rendezvous methods. The vehicle ended up with the same payload capability as the 'too large' Nova. The basic diameter was dictated by the ceiling height at the Michoud factory selected for first stage manufacture. More...
  • Titan 3C American orbital launch vehicle. Titan 3A with five segment solid motors. Man-rated design originally developed for Dynasoar spaceplane. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • NASA American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA, USA. More...
  • McDonnell American manufacturer of spacecraft. McDonnell, St Louis, USA. More...

Associated Programs
  • Gemini Gemini was conceived as an 'upgraded Mercury' to test essential orbital manoeuvring, rendezvous, docking, lifting re-entry, and space walking techniques in the four years between the last Mercury flight and the first scheduled Apollo flight. If fulfilled this mission, and numerous variants that never reached production would have serviced manned space stations and taken Americans around and to the moon - at lower cost and earlier than Apollo. More...

Associated Propellants
  • N2O4/MMH Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Monomethylhydrazine (CH3NHNH2) is a storable liquid fuel that found favour in the United States for use in orbital spacecraft engines. Its advantages in comparison to UDMH are higher density and slightly higher performance. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Ertel , Ivan D; Morse , Mary Louise; et al, The Apollo Spacecraft Chronology Vol I - IV NASA SP-4009, NASA, 1966-1974. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautical and Astronautical Events of 1961 Report of NASA to the Committee on Science and Astronautics US House of Representatives 87th Cong 2d Sess, NASA, 1962. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Gatland, Kenneth, Manned Spacecraft, Macmillan, New York, 1968.
  • Baker, David, The History of Manned Spaceflight, Crown, New York, 1981.
  • Brooks, Courtney G, Grimwood, Hames M, Swenson, Lloyd S, Chariots for Apollo, Government Printing Office, 1989. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Furniss, Tim, Manned Spaceflight Log, Jane's, London, 1986.
  • Hacker, Barton C and Crimwood, James,, On the Shoulders of Titans, Government Printing Office, 1977. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Jenkins, Dennis R,, Space Shuttle: The History of the National Space Transportation System : The First 100 Missions, Third edition, Voyageur Press, 2001.
  • Turnill, Reginald,, The Observer's Spaceflight Directory, Frederick Warne, London, 1978.
  • Wilson, Keith T., "EVA Log 1965-1997", Spaceflight, 1998, Volume 40, page 85.
  • Peebles, Curtis, "The Manned Orbiting Laboratory", Spaceflight, Part 1; Part 2 in 1980, Volume 22, page 248.
  • Kraft, Christopher C, editor, Manned Spacecraft: Engineering Design and Operation, NASA, 1968..
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Launch Log, October 1998. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Siddiqi, Asif A, Soviet Space Web Page, 1999 via Dietrich Haeseler. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Grimwood, James M., Project Mercury: A Chronology, NASA Special Publication-4001.
  • NASA Report, Gemini: Mercury Experience Applied, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, On the Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini guidance and control performance summary, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Project Gemini Technology and Operations - A Chronology, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini project - rendezvous spacecraft mission planning , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini Conference Summary, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini Mid-Program Conference Summary , Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini launch vehicle pilot safety program, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Summary of Gemini Rendezvous Experience, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Collective Knowledge Gained from Gemini, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini: Mercury Experience Applied, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Postflight optical evaluation of the right- hand and left-hand windows of Gemini missions 4, 5, 6, and 7, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Personnel Management in R and D Organization - An Analysis of the Phasedown of the Gemini Program Office at the Manned Spacecraft Center, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini Manual Volume I, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini Manual Volume I Section 2, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini Manual Volume 2, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini Manual Volume 2 Section 2, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Gemini Launch and Escape, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, The Gemini Program: Physical sciences experiments summary, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Radiation dosimetry for the Gemini program, Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC19 Titan launch complex. Complexes 15, 16, 19, and 20 were built for the Titan ballistic missile program. The sites were accepted by the U.S. Government between February and mid-September 1959. All four sites supported Titan I launches in 1959 and the early 1960s. In 1962 and 1963, Complex 19 was converted into the space program's only manned Titan II/Gemini launch complex. It supported two unmanned and ten manned Gemini missions between 8 April 1964 and 16 November 1966. Complex 19 was deactivated on 10 April 1967, and it was declared a national historic landmark in April 1984. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC40 Titan launch complex. Constructed as part of the Titan Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) facility at the north end of Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. Supported a wide variety of military space missions involving Titan IIIC, Titan 34D and Titan IV vehicles. More...

Gemini Chronology


During 1958 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Vega.
  • NASA sketches two-crew Mercury follow-on spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Johnson, Caldwell. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. In 1958 H. Kurt Strass and Caldwell C. Johnson of NASA's Space Task Group at Langley Field, Virginia.sketched a spacecraft design concept for a two-man orbiting laboratory to be launched by an Atlas-Vega booster. This was one of the earliest sketches of a two-crew Mercury follow-on. The Vega stage was dropped in favour of the Agena a year later, and a similar one-crew Mercury-Agena space station was proposed by McDonnell some years later.

1959 April 1 - .
  • Two-man Mercury capsule proposed. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Goett. Spacecraft: Gemini. H. Kurt Strass of the Space Task Group (STG) at Langley Field, Virginia described some preliminary ideas of STG planners regarding a follow-on to Mercury: (1) an enlarged Mercury capsule to place two men in orbit for three days; (2) a two-man Mercury capsule and a large cylindrical structure to support a two-week mission. (In its 1960 budget, NASA had requested $2 million to study methods of constructing a manned orbiting laboratory or converting the Mercury spacecraft into a two-man laboratory for extended space missions.) Additional Details: here....

1959 April 24 - .
  • NASA budgets for research on techniques and problems of space rendezvous. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. DeMarquis D. Wyatt, Assistant to the Director of Space Flight Development, testified before Congress in support of NASA's request for $3 million in Fiscal Year 1960 for research on techniques and problems of space rendezvous. Wyatt explained that logistic support for a manned space laboratory, a possible post-Mercury flight program, depended upon resolving several key problems and making rendezvous in orbit practical. Among key problems he cited were establishment of methods for fixing the relative positions of two objects in space; development of accurate target acquisition devices to enable supply craft to locate the space station; development of guidance systems to permit precise determination of flight paths; and development of reliable propulsion systems for maneuvering in orbit.

1959 June 22 - .
  • Preliminary design of a two-man space laboratory. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; MOL. H. Kurt Strass of Space Task Group's Flight Systems Division (FSD) recommended the establishment of a committee to consider the preliminary design of a two-man space laboratory. Representatives from each of the specialist groups within FSD would work with a special projects group, the work to culminate in a set of design specifications for the two-man Mercury.

1960 April 5 - .
  • Modification of Mercury spacecraft for a controlled reentry begun. - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Mercury Mark I; Gemini. The Space Task Group notified the Ames Research Center that preliminary planning for the modification of the Mercury spacecraft to accomplish controlled reentry had begun, and Ames was invited to participate in the study. Preliminary specifications for the modified spacecraft were to be ready by the end of the month. This program was later termed Mercury Mark II and eventually Project Gemini.

1960 May 16-17 - .
  • Representatives of NASA's research centers gathered at Langley Research Center to present papers on current programs related to space rendezvous and to discuss possible future work on rendezvous. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. During the first day of the conference, papers were read on the work in progress at Langley, Ames, Lewis, and Flight Research Centers, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The second day was given to a roundtable discussion. All felt strongly that rendezvous would soon be essential, that the technique should be developed immediately, and that NASA should make rendezvous experiments to develop the technique and establish the feasibility of rendezvous.

1960 June - .
  • Space Task Group (STG) issued a set of guidelines for advanced manned space flight programs. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Mercury Mark I. The document comprised five papers presented by STG personnel at a series of meetings with personnel from NASA Headquarters and various NASA field installations during April and May. Primary focus was a manned circumlunar mission, or lunar reconnaissance, but in his summary, Charles J. Donlan, Associate Director (Development), described an intermediate program that might fit into the period between the phasing out of Mercury and the beginning of flight tests of the multimanned vehicle. During this time, 'it is attractive to consider the possibility of a flight-test program involving the reentry unit of the multimanned vehicle which at times we have thought of as a lifting Mercury.' What form such a vehicle might take was uncertain, but it would clearly be a major undertaking; much more information was needed before a decision could be made. To investigate some of the problems of a reentry vehicle with a lift-over-drag ratio other than zero, STG had proposed wind tunnel studies of static and dynamic stability, pressure, and heat transfer at Langley, Arnold Engineering Development Center, and Ames facilities.

1961 January 5-6 - .
  • NASA's Space Exploration Program Council discusses manned lunar landing. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA's Space Exploration Program Council met in Washington to discuss manned lunar landing. Among the results of the meeting was an agreement that NASA should plan an earth-orbital rendezvous program independent of, although contributing to, the manned lunar program.

1961 January 20 - .
  • Space Task Group management discusses a follow-on Mercury program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. Space Task Group management held a Capsule Review Board meeting. The first topic on the agenda was a follow-on Mercury program. Several types of missions were considered, including long-duration, rendezvous, artificial gravity, and flight tests of advanced equipment. Major conclusion was that a follow-on program needed to be specified in greater detail.

1961 February 13 - .
  • NASA and McDonnell began discussions of an advanced Mercury spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth; Faget; Chamberlin. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. McDonnell had been studying the concept of a maneuverable Mercury spacecraft since 1959. On February 1, Space Task Group (STG) Director Robert R. Gilruth assigned James A. Chamberlin, Chief, STG Engineering Division, who had been working with McDonnell on Mercury for more than a year, to institute studies with McDonnell on improving Mercury for future manned space flight programs. Additional Details: here....

1961 February 13 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Beginning of Gemini - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: First formal NASA/McDonnell discussions on Mercury Mark II (Gemini)..

1961 May 5 - .
  • Integrated research, development, and applied orbital operations program to cost $1 billion through 1970. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. A NASA Headquarters working group, headed by Bernard Maggin, completed a staff paper presenting arguments for establishing an integrated research, development, and applied orbital operations program at an approximate cost of $1 billion through 1970. The group identified three broad categories of orbital operations: inspection, ferry, and orbital launch. It concluded that future space programs would require an orbital operations capability and that the development of an integrated program, coordinated with Department of Defense, should begin immediately. The group recommended that such a program, because of its scope and cost, be independent of other space programs and that a project office be established to initiate and implement the program.

1961 May 8 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Martin briefed NASA on the Titan II weapon system. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth; Seamans. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Mercury Mark I. Martin Company personnel briefed NASA officials in Washington, D.C., on the Titan II weapon system. Albert C. Hall of Martin had contacted NASA's Associate Administrator, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., on April 7 to propose the Titan II as a launch vehicle for a lunar landing program. Although skeptical, Seamans nevertheless arranged for a more formal presentation. Abe Silverstein, NASA Director, Office of Space Flight Programs, was sufficiently impressed by the Martin briefing to ask Director Robert R. Gilruth and Space Task Group to study possible Titan II uses. Silverstein shortly informed Seamans of the possibility of using the Titan II to launch a scaled-up Mercury spacecraft.

1961 May 17 - .
  • Design Study of a Manned Spacecraft Paraglide Landing System. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Space Task Group (STG) issued a Statement of Work for a Design Study of a Manned Spacecraft Paraglide Landing System. The purpose of the study was to define and evaluate problem areas and to establish the design parameters of a system to provide spacecraft maneuverability and controlled energy descent and landing by aerodynamic lift. McDonnell was already at work on a modified Mercury spacecraft; the proposed paraglide study was to be carried on concurrently to allow the paraglide landing system to be incorporated as an integral subsystem. STG Director Robert R. Gilruth requested that contracts for the design study be negotiated with three companies which already had experience with the paraglide concept: Goodyear Aircraft Corporation, Akron, Ohio; North American Aviation, Inc., Space and Information Systems Division, Downey, California; and Ryan Aeronautical Company, San Diego, California. Each contract would be funded to a maximum of $100,000 for a study to be completed within two and one-half months from the date the contract was awarded. Gilruth expected one of these companies subsequently to be selected to develop and manufacture a paraglide system based on the approved design concept. In less than three weeks, contracts had been awarded to all three companies. Before the end of June, the design study formally became Phase I of the Paraglider Development Program.

1961 June 9 - .
  • Chamberlin briefed NASA Headquarters on McDonnell's advanced capsule design. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George; Chamberlin. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. James A. Chamberlin, Chief, Engineering Division, Space Task Group (STG), briefed Director Robert R. Gilruth, senior STG staff members, and George M. Low and John H. Disher of NASA Headquarters on McDonnell's advanced capsule design. The design was based on increased component and systems accessibility, reduced manufacturing and checkout time, easier pilot insertion and emergency egress procedures, greater reliability, and adaptability to a paraglide landing system. It departed significantly from Mercury capsule design in placing most components outside the pressure vessel and increasing retrograde and posigrade rocket performance. The group was reluctant to adopt what seemed to be a complete redesign of the Mercury spacecraft, but it decided to meet again on June 12 to review the most desirable features of the new design. After discussing most of these items at the second meeting, the group decided to ask McDonnell to study a minimum-modification capsule to provide an 18-orbit capability.

1961 July 7 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Centaur LV-3C.
  • McDonnell studies of the redesigned Mercury spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection; Gemini Parachute. Walter F. Burke of McDonnell summarized the company's studies of the redesigned Mercury spacecraft for Space Task Group's senior staff. McDonnell had considered three configurations: (1) the minimum-change capsule, modified only to improve accessibility and handling, with an adapter added to carry such items as extra batteries; (2) a reconfigured capsule with an ejection seat installed and most of the equipment exterior to the pressure vessel on highly accessible pallets; and (3) a two-man capsule, similar to the reconfigured capsule except for the modification required for two rather than one-man operation. The capsule would be brought down on two Mercury-type main parachutes, the ejection seat serving as a redundant system. In evaluating the trajectory of the two-man capsule, McDonnell used Atlas Centaur booster performance data.

1961 July 27-28 - .
  • Advanced Mercury concepts - . Nation: USA. Program: Mercury. Flight: Mercury MA-10; Mercury MA-11; Mercury MA-12. Spacecraft: Mercury Mark I; Gemini. After the 2-man space concept (later designated Project Gemini) was introduced in May 1961, a briefing between McDonnell and NASA personnel was held on the matter. As a result of this meeting, space flight design effort was concentrated on the 18-orbit 1-man Mercury and on a 2-man spacecraft capable of advanced missions.

1961 July 27-28 - .
  • Representatives of NASA and McDonnell met to decide what course McDonnell's work on the advanced Mercury should take. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Mercury Mark I. The result: McDonnell was to concentrate all its efforts on two versions of the advanced spacecraft. The first required minimum changes; it was to be capable of sustaining one man in space for 18 orbits. The second, a two-man version capable of advanced missions, would require more radical modifications.

1961 August 1 - .
  • McDonnell proposal for Gemini - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Baseline 10 earth orbit flights; also proposed for docking with Centaur and circumlunar flights by March 1965. NASA not interested - threat to Apollo..

1961 August 14 - .
  • Report on Mercury Mark II. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Chamberlin. Spacecraft: Gemini. Fred J. Sanders and three other McDonnell engineers arrived at Langley Research Center to help James A. Chamberlin and other Space Task Group (STG) engineers who had prepared a report on the improved Mercury concept, now known as Mercury Mark II. Then, with the assistance of Warren J. North of NASA Headquarters Office of Space Flight Programs, the STG group prepared a preliminary Project Development Plan to be submitted to NASA Headquarters. Although revised six times before the final version was submitted on October 27, the basic concepts of the first plan remained unchanged in formulating the program.

1961 August 31 - . LV Family: Saturn C-3. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-3.
  • Chamberlain proposes lunar landing by Gemini - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Landing by Gemini using 4,000 kg wet/680 kg empty lander and Saturn C-3 booster. Landing by January 1966..

1961 October - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Titan II to be selected as the launch vehicle for NASA's advanced Mercury. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Martin Company received informal indications from the Air Force that Titan II would be selected as the launch vehicle for NASA's advanced Mercury. Martin, Air Force, and NASA studied the feasibility of modifying complex 19 at Cape Canaveral from the Titan weapon system configuration to the Mercury Mark II launch vehicle configuration.

1961 October 27 - . LV Family: Atlas; Titan.
  • Program of manned spaceflight for 1963-1965. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Low, George. Spacecraft: Gemini. Space Task Group (STG), assisted by George M. Low, NASA Assistant Director for Space Flight Operations, and Warren J. North of Low's office, prepared a project summary presenting a program of manned spaceflight for 1963-1965. This was the final version of the Project Development Plan, work on which had been initiated August 14. Additional Details: here....

1961 October 27 - .
  • James A. Chamberlin expects approval of the Mark II spacecraft program within 30 days. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Chamberlin. Spacecraft: Gemini. James A. Chamberlin, Chief of Space Task Group (STG) Engineering Division, expecting approval of the Mark II spacecraft program within 30 days, urged STG Director Robert R. Gilruth to begin reorienting McDonnell, the proposed manufacturer, to the new program. To react quickly once the program was approved, McDonnell had to have an organization set up, personnel assigned, and adequate staffing ensured. Chamberlin suggested an amendment to the existing letter contract under which McDonnell had been authorized to procure items for Mercury Mark II. This amendment would direct McDonnell to devote efforts during the next 30 days to organizing and preparing to implement its Mark II role.

1961 November 1 - .
  • Space Task Group's Engineering Division briefed Seamans on the Mercury Mark II proposal. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Chamberlin. Spacecraft: Gemini. Space Task Group's Engineering Division Chief James A. Chamberlin and Director Robert R. Gilruth briefed NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., at NASA Headquarters on the Mercury Mark II proposal. Specific approval was not granted, but Chamberlin and Gilruth left Washington convinced that program approval would be forthcoming.

1961 November 15 - .
  • McDonnell submitted to Manned Spacecraft Center the detail specification of the Mercury Mark II spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection; Gemini Fuel Cell. A number of features closely resembled those of the Mercury spacecraft. Among these were the aerodynamic shape, tractor rocket escape tower, heatshield, impact bag to attenuate landing shock, and the spacecraft-launch vehicle adapter. Salient differences from the Mercury concept included housing many of the mission-sustaining components in an adapter that would be carried into orbit rather than being jettisoned following launch, bipropellant thrusters to effect orbital maneuvers, crew ejection seats for emergency use, onboard navigation system (inertial platform, computers, radar, etc.), and fuel cells as electrical power source in addition to silver-zinc batteries. The long-duration mission was viewed as being seven days.

1961 November 20 - .
  • Milton W. Rosen, Director of Launch Vehicles and Propulsion in NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight, presented recommendations on rendezvous to D. Brainerd Holmes, Director of Manned Space Flight. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Rosen, Milton. Spacecraft: Gemini. The working group Rosen chaired had completed a two-week study of launch vehicles for manned spaceflight, examining most intensively the technical and operational problems posed by orbital rendezvous. Because the capability for rendezvous in space was essential to a variety of future missions, the group agreed that 'a vigorous high priority rendezvous development effort must be undertaken immediately.' Its first recommendation was that a program be instituted to develop rendezvous capability on an urgent basis.

1961 November 20 - .
  • North American to proceed with the Paraglider Development Program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Manned Spacecraft Center notified North American to proceed with Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. A letter contract, NAS 9-167, followed on November 21; contract negotiations were completed February 9, 1962; and the final contract was awarded on April 16, 1962. Phase I, the design studies that ran from the beginning of June to mid-August 1961, had already demonstrated the feasibility of the paraglider concept. Phase II-A, System Research and Development, called for an eight-month effort to develop the design concept of a paraglider landing system and to determine its optimal performance configuration. This development would lay the groundwork for Phase II, Part B, comprising prototype fabrication, unmanned and manned flight testing, and the completion of the final system design. Ultimately Phase III-Implementation-would see the paraglider being manufactured and pilots trained to fly it.

1961 November 28-29 - .
  • Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program discussed. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Representatives of the Space and Information Systems Division of North American, Langley Research Center, Flight Research Center (formerly High Speed Flight Station), and Manned Spacecraft Center met to discuss implementing Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. They agreed that paraglider research and development would be oriented toward the Mercury Mark II project and that paraglider hardware and requirements should be compatible with the Mark II spacecraft. Langley Research Center would support the paraglider program with wind tunnel tests. Flight Research Center would oversee the paraglider flight test program. Coordination of the paraglider program would be the responsibility of Manned Spacecraft Center.

1961 December 5 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan.
  • Recommendation that the weapon system of the Titan II, with minimal modifications, be approved for the Mercury Mark II rendezvous mission. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: McNamara. Spacecraft: Gemini. On the basis of a report of the Large Launch Vehicle Planning Group, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA Associate Administrator, and John H. Rubel, Department of Defense Deputy Director for Defense Research and Engineering, recommended to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara that the weapon system of the Titan II, with minimal modifications, be approved for the Mercury Mark II rendezvous mission. The planning group had first met in August 1961 to survey the Nation's launch vehicle program and was recalled in November to consider Titan II, Titan II-1/2, and Titan III. On November 16, McNamara and NASA Administrator James E. Webb had also begun discussing the use of Titan II.

1961 December 6 - .
  • Robert R. Gilruth, Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center, transmitted the procurement plan for the Mark II spacecraft to NASA Headquarters for approval. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Spacecraft: Gemini. This included scope of work, plans, type of contract administration, contract negotiation and award plan, and schedule of procurement actions. At Headquarters, D. Brainerd Holmes, Director of Manned Space Flight, advised Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., that the extended flight would be conducted in the last half of calender year 1963 and that the rendezvous flight tests would begin in early 1964. Because of short lead time available to meet the Mark II delivery and launch schedules, it was requested that fiscal year 1962 funds totaling $75.8 million be immediately released to Manned Spacecraft Center in preparation for the negotiation of contracts for the spacecraft and for the launch vehicle modifications and procurements.

1961 December 7 - . LV Family: Atlas; Titan.
  • NASA announced plans to develop a two-man Mercury capsule. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. In Houston, Director Robert R. Gilruth of Manned Spacecraft Center announced plans to develop a two-man Mercury capsule. Built by McDonnell, it would be similar in shape to the Mercury capsule but slightly larger and from two to three times heavier. Its booster would be a modified Titan II. A major program objective would be orbital rendezvous. The two-man spacecraft would be launched into orbit and would attempt to rendezvous with an Agena stage put into orbit by an Atlas. Total cost of 12 capsules plus boosters and other equipment was estimated at $500 million. The two-man flight program would begin in the 1963-1964 period with several unmanned ballistic flights to test overall booster-spacecraft compatibility and system engineering. Several manned orbital flights would follow. Besides rendezvous flybys of the target vehicle, actual docking missions would be attempted in final flights. The spacecraft would be capable of missions of a week or more to train pilots for future long-duration circumlunar and lunar landing flights. The Mercury astronauts would serve as pilots for the program, but additional crew members might be phased in during the latter portions of the program.

1961 December 7 - .
  • NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., approved the Mark II project development plan. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. The document approved was accompanied by a memorandum from Colonel Daniel D. McKee of NASA Headquarters stressing the large advances possible in a short time through the Mark II project and their potential application in planned Apollo missions, particularly the use of rendezvous techniques to achieve manned lunar landing earlier than direct ascent would make possible.

1961 December 7 - . LV Family: Atlas; Titan.
  • Recommendations to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara on the division of effort between NASA and DOD in the Mark II program. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: McNamara. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., and John H. Rubel, Department of Defense (DOD) Deputy Director for Defense Research and Engineering, offered recommendations to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara on the division of effort between NASA and DOD in the Mark II program. They stressed NASA's primary responsibility for managing and directing the program, although attaining the program objectives would be facilitated by using DOD (especially Air Force) resources in a contractor relation to NASA. In addition, DOD personnel would aquire useful experience in manned spaceflight design, development, and operations. Space Systems Division of Air Force Systems Command became NASA's contractor for developing, procuring, and launching Titan II and Atlas-Agena vehicles for the Mark II program.

1961 December 7 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Two-man Mercury Mark II spacecraft announced - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. Plans for the development of a two-man Mercury spacecraft were announced by Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director. The two-man spacecraft, to be built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, would be similar in shape to the Mercury spacecraft but slightly larger and two to three times heavier. Its booster rocket would be a modified Air Force Titan II, scheduled for flight test in early 1962. One of the major objectives in the program would be a test of orbital rendezvous, in which the two-man spacecraft would be launched into orbit by the Titan II and attempt to rendezvous with an Agena stage launched by an Atlas rocket. The total cost for a dozen two-man spacecraft plus boosters and other equipment was estimated at $500 million.

1961 December 7 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • DOD/NASA coordination for Mercury Mark II - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: McNamara; Seamans; Webb. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., and DOD Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering John H. Rubel recommended to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and NASA Administrator James E. Webb that detailed arrangements for support of the Mercury Mark II spacecraft and the Atlas-Agena vehicle used in rendezvous experiments be planned directly between NASA's Office of Manned Space Flight and the Air Force and other DOD organizations. NASA's primary responsibilities would be the overall management and direction for the Mercury Mark II/ Agena rendezvous development and experiments. The Air Force responsibilities would include acting as NASA contractor for the Titan II launch vehicle and for the Atlas-Agena vehicle to be used in rendezvous experiments. DOD's responsibilities would include assistance in the provision and selection of astronauts and the provision of launch, range, and recovery support, as required by NASA.

1961 December 7 - .
  • Plans for Gemini announced - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth. Program: Mercury. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Plans for the development of a 2-man Mercury spacecraft were announced by Robert R. Gilruth, Director of the Manned Spacecraft Center. On January 3, 1962, this program was designated Project Gemini..

1961 December 11 - .
  • NASA laid down guidelines for the development of the two-man spacecraft in a document included as Exhibit "A" in NASA's contract with McDonnell. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini ECS; Gemini Ejection. The development program had five specific objectives: (1) performing Earth-orbital flights lasting up to 14 days, (2) determining the ability of man to function in a space environment during extended missions, (3) demonstrating rendezvous and docking with a target vehicle in Earth orbit as an operational technique, (4) developing simplified countdown procedures and techniques for the rendezvous mission compatible with spacecraft launch vehicle and target vehicle performance, and (5) making controlled land landing the primary recovery mode. The two-man spacecraft would retain the general aerodynamic shape and basic systems concepts of the Mercury spacecraft but would also include several important changes: increased size to accommodate two astronauts; ejection seats instead of the escape tower; an adapter, containing special equipment not needed for reentry and landing, to be left in orbit; housing of most system hardware outside the pressurized compartment for ease of access; modular systems design rather than integrated; spacecraft systems for orbital maneuvering and docking; and a system for controlled land landing. Target date for completing the program was October 1965.

1961 December 12 - .
  • Air Force / NASA working group to draft agreement on responsibilities in the Mercury Mark II program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Colonel Daniel D. McKee of NASA Headquarters compiled instructions for an Air Force and NASA ad hoc working group established to draft an agreement on the respective responsibilities of the two organizations in the Mark II program. Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) Director Robert R. Gilruth assigned his special assistant, Paul E. Purser, to head the MSC contingent.

1961 December 15 - .
  • McDonnell given letter contract for Gemini - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: McDonnell given letter contract for development of Gemini..

1961 December 22 - .
  • A week after receiving it, McDonnell accepted Letter Contract NAS 9-170 to "conduct a research and development program which will result in the development to completion of a Two-Man Spacecraft". - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. A week after receiving it, McDonnell accepted Letter Contract NAS 9-170 to 'conduct a research and development program which will result in the development to completion of a Two-Man Spacecraft.' McDonnell was to design and manufacture 12 spacecraft, 15 launch vehicle adapters, and 11 target vehicle docking adapters, along with static test articles and all ancillary hardware necessary to support spacecraft operations. Major items to be furnished by the Government to McDonnell to be integrated into the spacecraft were the paraglider, launch vehicle and facilities, astronaut pressure suits and survival equipment, and orbiting target vehicle. The first spacecraft, with launch vehicle adapter, was to be ready for delivery in 15 months, the remaining 11 to follow at 60-day intervals. Initial Government obligation under the contract was $25 million.

1961 December 28 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Titan 2 first ground test. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Gemini. Titan II, an advanced ICBM and the booster designated for NASA's two-man orbital flights, was successfully captive-fired for the first time at the Martin Co.'s Denver facilities. The test not only tested the flight vehicle but the checkout and launch equipment intended for operational use.

1961 December 29 - . LV Family: Atlas; Titan.
  • NASA issued the Gemini Operational and Management Plan, which outlined the roles and responsibilities of NASA and Department of Defense in the Gemini (Mercury Mark II) program. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard; Schriever. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA would be responsible for overall program planning, direction, systems engineering, and operation-including Gemini spacecraft development; Gemini/Agena rendezvous and docking equipment development; Titan II/Gemini spacecraft systems integration; launch, flight, and recovery operations; command, tracking, and telemetry during orbital operations; and reciprocal support of Department of Defense space projects and programs within the scope of the Gemini program. Department of Defense would be responsible for: Titan II development and procurement, Atlas procurement, Agena procurement, Atlas-Agena systems integration, launch of Titan II and Atlas-Agena vehicles, range support, and recovery support. A slightly revised version of the plan was signed in approval on March 27 by General Bernard A. Schriever, Commander, Air Force Systems Command, for the Air Force, and D. Brainerd Holmes, Director of Manned Space Flight, for NASA.

1962 January 3 - .
  • "Gemini" became the official designation of the Mercury Mark II program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. The name had been suggested by Alex P. Nagy of NASA Headquarters because the twin stars Castor and Pollux in constellation Gemini (the Twins) seemed to him to symbolize the program's two-man crew, its rendezvous mission, and its relation to Mercury. Coincidentally, the astronomical symbol (II) for Gemini, the third constellation of the zodiac, corresponded neatly to the Mark II designation.

1962 January 15 - .
  • James A. Chamberlin named Manager of Gemini Project Office (GPO). - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth; Chamberlin. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. Director Robert R. Gilruth of Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) appointed James A. Chamberlin, Chief of Engineering Division, as Manager of Gemini Project Office (GPO). The next day MSC advised McDonnell, by amendment No. 1 to letter contract NAS 9-170, that GPO had been established. It was responsible for planning and directing all technical activities and all contractor activities within the scope of the contract.

1962 January 23 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center completed an analysis of possible power sources for the Gemini spacecraft. Major competitors were fuel cells and solar cells. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Although any system selected would require much design, development, and testing effort, the fuel cell designed by General Electric Company, West Lynn, Massachusetts, appeared to offer decided advantages in simplicity, weight, and compatiblity with Gemini requirements over solar cells or other fuel cells. A basic feature of the General Electric design, and the source of its advantages over its competitors, was the use of ion-exchange membranes rather than gas-diffusion electrodes. On March 20, 1962, McDonnell let a $9 million subcontract to General Electric to design and develop fuel cells for the Gemini spacecraft.

1962 January 31 - .
  • 11 Atlas-Agenas rendezvous targets requested for Project Gemini. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Manned Spacecraft Center notified Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama (which was responsible for managing NASA's Agena Programs) that Project Gemini required 11 Atlas-Agenas as rendezvous targets and requested Marshall to procure them. The procurement request was accompanied by an Exhibit 'A' describing proposed Gemini rendezvous techniques and defining the purpose of Project Gemini as development and demonstrating Earth-orbit rendezvous techniques as early as possible. If feasible, these techniques could provide a practical base for lunar and other deep space missions. Exhibit B to the purchase request was a Statement of Work for Atlas-Agena vehicles to be used in Project Gemini. Air Force Space Systems Division, acting as a NASA contractor, would procure the 11 vehicles required. Among the modifications needed to change the Atlas-Agena into the Agena rendezvous vehicle were: incorporation of radar and visual navigation and tracking aids; main engines capable of multiple restarts; addition of a secondary propulsion system, stabilization system, and command system; incorporation of an external rendezvous docking unit; and provision of a jettisonable aerodynamic fairing to enclose the docking unit during launch. The first rendezvous vehicle was to be delivered to the launch site in 20 months, with the remaining 10 to follow at 60-day intervals.

1962 February 13-15 - . LV Family: Saturn I; Saturn V.
  • Technical aspects of earth orbit rendezvous meeting - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Geissler; Rudolph. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. A meeting on the technical aspects of earth orbit rendezvous was held at NASA Headquarters. Representatives from various NASA offices attended: Arthur L. Rudolph, Paul J. DeFries, Fred L. Digesu, Ludie G. Richard, John W. Hardin, Jr., Ernst D. Geissler, and Wilson B. Schramm of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC); James T. Rose of MSC; Friedrich O. Vonbun, Joseph W. Siry, and James J. Donegan of Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC); Douglas R. Lord, James E. O'Neill, Richard J. Hayes, Warren J. North, and Daniel D. McKee of the NASA Office of Manned Space Flight (OMSF). Joseph F. Shea, Deputy Director for Systems, OMSF, who had called the meeting, defined in general terms the goal of the meeting: to achieve agreement on the approach to be used in developing the earth orbit rendezvous technique. After two days of discussions and presentations, the Group approved conclusions and recommendations:

    • Gemini rendezvous operations could and must provide substantial experience with rendezvous techniques pertinent to Apollo.
    • Incorporation of the Saturn guidance equipment in a scaled-down docking module for the Agenas in the Gemini program was not required.
    • Complete development of the technique and equipment for Apollo rendezvous and docking should be required before the availability of the Saturn C-5 launch vehicle.
    • Full-scale docking equipment could profitably be developed by three- dimensional ground simulations. MSFC would prepare an outline of such a program.
    • The Apollo rendezvous technique and actual hardware could be flight- tested with the Saturn C-1 launch vehicle. MSFC would prepare a proposed flight test program.
    • The choice of connecting or tanking modes must be made in the near future. The MSFC Orbital Operations Study program should be used to provide data to make this decision.
    • The rendezvous technique which evolved from this meeting would place heavy requirements on the ground tracking network. GSFC should provide data relating the impact of detailed trajectory considerations to ground tracking station requirements.
    (This meeting was part of a continuing effort to select the lunar mission mode.)

1962 February 19 - .
  • AiResearch received subcontract to manufacture the environmental control system (ECS) for Gemini. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini ECS. AiResearch Manufacturing Company, a division of the Garrett Corporation, Los Angeles, California, received a $15 million subcontract from McDonnell to manufacture the environmental control system (ECS) for the Gemini spacecraft. This was McDonnell's first purchase order on behalf of the Gemini contract. Patterned after the ECS used in Project Mercury (also built by AiResearch), the Gemini ECS consisted of suit, cabin, and coolant circuits, and an oxygen supply, all designed to be manually controlled whenever possible during all phases of flight. Primary functions of the ECS were controlling suit and cabin atmosphere, controlling suit and equipment temperatures, and providing drinking water for the crew and storage or disposal of waste water.

1962 February 22 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Proposal for redundant subsystems for the Gemini launch vehicle. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. Martin-Baltimore submitted its initial proposal for the redundant flight control and hydraulic subsystems for the Gemini launch vehicle; on March 1, Martin was authorized to proceed with study and design work. The major change in the flight control system from Titan II missile to Gemini launch vehicle was substitution of the General Electric Mod IIIG radio guidance system (RGS) and Titan I three-axis reference system for the Titan II inertial guidance system. Air Force Space Systems Division issued a letter contract to General Electric Company, Syracuse, New York, for the RGS on June 27. Technical liaison, computer programs, and ground-based computer operation and maintenance were contracted to Burroughs Corporation, Paoli, Pennsylvania, on July 3.

1962 February 24 - .
  • McDonnell let a $32 million subcontract to North American Aviation's Rocktdyne Division, Sacramento, California, to build liquid propulsion systems for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Two separate systems were required: the orbit attitude and maneuvering system (OAMS) and the reaction or reentry control system (RCS). The OAMS, located in the adapter section, had four functions: (1) providing the thrust required to enable the spacecraft to rendezvous with the target vehicle; (2) controlling the attitude of the spacecraft in orbit; (3) separating the spacecraft from the second stage of the launch vehicle and inserting it in orbit; and (4) providing abort capability at altitudes between 300,000 feet and orbital insertion. The OAMS initially comprised 16 ablative thrust chambers; eight 25-pound thrusters to control the spacecraft attitude in pitch, yaw, and roll axes; and eight 100-pound thrusters to maneuvre the spacecraft axially, vertically, and laterally. Rather than providing a redundant system, only critical components were to be duplicated. The RCS was located forward of the crew compartment in an independent RCS module. It consisted of two completely independent systems, each containing eight 25-pound thrusters very similar to those used in the OAMS. Purpose of the RCS was to maintain the attitude of the spacecraft during the reentry phase of the mission.

1962 February 28 - .
  • Representatives of McDonnell, North American, Manned Spacecraft Center, and NASA Headquarters met to begin coordinating the interface between spacecraft and paraglider. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. The first problem was to provide adequate usable stowage volume for the paraglider landing system within the spacecraft. The external geometry of the spacecraft had already been firmly established, so the problem narrowed to determining possible volumetric improvements within the spacecraft's recovery compartment.

1962 March 5 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Baltimore, Maryland, received a $6.8 million subcontract from McDonnell to provide the rendezvous radar and transponder system for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Purpose of the rendezvous radar, sited in the recovery section of the spacecraft, was to locate and track the target vehicle during rendezvous maneuvers. The transponder, a combined receiver and transmitter designed to transmit signals automatically when triggered by an interrogating signal, was located in the Agena target vehicle.

1962 March 5 - .
  • Harold I. Johnson, Head of the Spacecraft Operations Branch of Manned Spacecraft Center's Flight Crew Operations Division, circulated a memorandum on proposed training devices for Project Gemini. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. A major part of crew training depended on several different kinds of trainers and simulators corresponding to various aspects of proposed Gemini missions. Overall training would be provided by the flight simulator, capable of simulating a complete mission profile including sight, sound, and vibration cues. Internally identical to the spacecraft, the flight simulator formed part of the mission simulator, a training complex for both flight crews and ground controllers that also included the mission control center and remote site displays. Training for launch and re-entry would be provided by the centrifuge at the Naval Air Development Center, Johnsville, Pennsylvania. A centrifuge gondola would be equipped with a mock-up of the Gemini spacecraft's interior. A static article spacecraft would serve as an egress trainer, providing flight crews with the opportunity to practice normal and emergency methods of leaving the spacecraft after landings on either land or water. To train flight crews in land landing, a boilerplate spacecraft equipped with a full-scale paraglider wing would be used in a flight program consisting of drops from a helicopter. A docking trainer, fitted with actual docking hardware and crew displays and capable of motion in six degrees of freedom, would train the flight crew in docking operations. Other trainers would simulate major spacecraft systems to provide training in specific flight tasks.

1962 March 7 - .
  • Subcontract to Honeywell to provide attitude control and maneuvering electronics system for Gemini. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. McDonnell awarded a $6.5 million subcontract to Minneapolis-Honeywell Regulator Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, to provide the attitude control and maneuvering electronics system for the Gemini spacecraft. This system commanded the spacecraft's propulsion systems, providing the circuitry which linked the astronaut's operation of his controls to the actual firing of thrusters in the orbit attitude and maneuvering system or the reaction control system.

1962 March 8 - .
  • North American to develop an emergency parachute recovery system for flight test vehicles of the Paraglider Development Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. Manned Spacecraft Center directed North American to design and develop an emergency parachute recovery system for both the half-scale and full-scale flight test vehicles required by Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. They further authorized North American to subcontract the emergency recovery system to Northrop Corporation's Radioplane Division, Van Nuys, California. North American awarded the $225,000 subcontract to Radioplane on March 16. This was one of two major subcontracts led by North American for Phase II-A. The other, for $227,000, went to Goodyear to study materials and test fabrics for inflatable structures.

1962 March 14 - .
  • Gemini seat ejection to be initiated manually. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection; Gemini Parachute. Gemini Project Office (GPO) decided that seat ejection was to be initiated manually, with the proviso that the design must allow for the addition of automatic initiation if this should later become a requirement. Both seats had to eject simultaneously if either seat ejection system was energized. The ejection seat was to provide the crew a means of escaping from the Gemini spacecraft in an emergency while the launch vehicle was still on the launch pad, during the initial phase of powered flight (to about 60,000 feet), or in case of paraglider failure after reentry. In addition to the seat, the escape system included a hatch actuation system to open the hatches before ejection, a rocket catapult to propel the seat from the spacecraft, a personnel parachute system to sustain the astronaut after his separation from the seat, and survival equipment for the astronaut's use after landing. At a meeting on March 29, representatives of McDonnell, GPO, Life Systems Division, and Flight Crew Operations Division agreed that a group of specialists should get together periodically to monitor the development of the ejection seat, its related components, and the attendant testing. Although ejection seats had been widely used in military aircraft for years, Gemini requirements, notably for off-the-pad abort capability, were beyond the capabilities of existing flight-qualified systems. McDonnell awarded a $1.8 million subcontract to Weber Aircraft at Burbank, California, a division of Walter Kidde and Company, Inc, for the Gemini ejection seats on April 9; a $741,000 subcontract went to Rocker Power, Inc., Mesa, Arizona, on May 15 for the escape system rocket catapult.

1962 March 17 - .
  • McDonnell awarded AiResearch a $5.5 million subcontract to provide the reactant supply system for the Gemini spacecraft fuel cells. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. The oxygen and hydrogen required by the fuel cell were stored in two double-walled, vacuum-insulated, spherical containers located in the adapter section of the spacecraft. Reactants were maintained as single-phase fluids (neither gas nor liquid) in their containers by supercritical pressures at cryogenic temperatures. Heat exchangers converted them to gaseous form and supplied them to the fuel cells at operating temperatures.

1962 March 19 - .
  • Advanced Technology Laboratories, Inc, Mountain View, California, received a $3.2 million subcontract from McDonnell to provide the horizon sensor system for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. Two horizon sensors, one primary and one standby, were part of the spacecraft's guidance and control system. They scanned, detected, and tracked the infrared radiation gradient between Earth and space (Earth's infrared horizon) to provide reference signals for aligning the inertial platform and error signals to the attitude control and maneuver electronics for controlling the spacecraft's attitude and its pitch and roll axes.

1962 March 19 - .
  • Thiokol Chemical Corporation, Elkton, Maryland, received a $400,000 sub-contract from McDonnell to provide the retrograde rockets for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Only slight modification of a motor already in use was planned, and a modest qualification program was anticipated. Primary function of the solid-propellant retrorockets, four of which were located in the adapter section, was to decelerate the spacecraft at the start of the reentry maneuver. A secondary function was to accelerate the spacecraft to aid its separation from the launch vehicle in a high-altitude, suborbital abort.

1962 March 21 - .
  • McDonnell awarded a $4.475 million subcontract to the Western Military Division of Motorola, Inc, Scottsdale, Airzona, to design and build the digital command system (DCS) for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. Consisting of a receiver/decoder package and three relay packages, the DCS received digital commands transmitted from ground stations, decoded them and transferred them to the appropriate spacecraft systems. Commands were of two types: real-time commands to control various spacecraft functions and stored program commands to provide data updating the time reference system and the digital computer.

1962 March 28 - .
  • McDonnell awarded a $2.5 million subcontract to Collins Radio Company, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to provide the voice communications systems for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Consisting of the voice control center on the center instrument panel of the spacecraft, two ultrahigh-frequency voice transceivers, and one high-frequency voice transceiver, this system provided communications between astronauts, between the blockhouse and the spacecraft during launch, between the spacecraft and ground stations from launch through reentry, and between the spacecraft and recovery forces after landing.

1962 March 29 - .
  • The St. Petersburg, Florida, Aeronautical Division of Minneapolis-Honeywell received an $18 million subcontract from McDonnell to provide the inertial measuring unit (IMU) for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. Summary: The IMU was a stabilized inertial platform including an electronic unit and a power supply. Its primary functions were to provide a stable reference for determining spacecraft attitude and to indicate changes in spacecraft velocity..

1962 March 31 - .
  • The configuration of the Gemini spacecraft was formally frozen. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. Following receipt of the program go-ahead on December 22, 1961, McDonnell began defining the Gemini spacecraft. At that time, the basic configuration was already firm. During the three-month period, McDonnell wrote a series of detailed specifications to define the overall vehicle, its performance, and each of the major subsystems. These were submitted to NASA and approved. During the same period, the major subsystems specification control drawings - the specifications against which equipment was procured - were written, negotiated with NASA, and distributed to potential subcontractors for bid.

1962 April 3 - .
  • Representatives of Manned Spacecraft Center, Ames Research Center, Martin, and McDonnell met to discuss the participation of Ames in the Gemini wind tunnel program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. The tests were designed to determine: (1) spacecraft and launch vehicle loads and the effect of the hatches on launch stability, using a six percent model of the spacecraft and launch vehicle; (2) the effect of large angles of attach, Reynold's number, and retrorocket jet effects on booster tumbling characteristics and attachment loads; (3) exit characteristics of the spacecraft; and (4) reentry characteristics of the reentry module.

1962 April 7 - .
  • ACF Electronics Division, Riverdale, California, of ACF Industries, Inc., received a $1 million subcontract from McDonnell to provide C- and S-band radar beacons for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. These beacons formed part of the spacecraft's tracking system. With the exception of frequency-dependent differences, the C-band beacon was nearly identical to the S-band beacon. Their function was to provide tracking responses to interrogation signals from ground stations.

1962 April 18 - .
  • NASA announced that applications would be accepted for additional astronauts until June 1, 1962. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong; Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA planned to select five to ten astronauts to augment the seven-member Mercury astronaut team. The new pilots would participate in support operations in Project Mercury and would join the Mercury astronauts in piloting the two-man Gemini spacecraft. To be chosen, the applicant must (1) be an experienced jet test pilot and preferably be presently engaged in flying high-performance aircraft; (2) have attained experimental flight test status through military service, aircraft industry, or NASA, or must have graduated from a military test pilot school; (3) have earned a degree in the physical or biological sciences or in engineering; (4) be a United States citizen under 35 years of age at the time of selection, six feet or less in height; and (5) be recommended by his parent organization. Pilots meeting these qualifications would be interviewed in July and given written examinations on their engineering and scientific knowledge. Selected applicants would then be thoroughly examined by a group of medical specialists. The training program for the new astronauts would include work with design and development engineers, simulator flying, centrifuge training, additional scientific training, and flights in high-performance aircraft.

1962 April 19 - .
  • McDonnell awarded a $26.6 million subcontract to International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation's Space Guidance Center, Owego, New York, to provide the computer system for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System; Gemini Radar. The digital computer was the heart of the spacecraft's guidance and control system; supplementary equipment consisted of the incremental velocity indicator (which visually displayed changes in spacecraft velocity), the manual data insertion unit (for inserting data into, and displaying readouts from, the computer), and the auxiliary computer power unit (to maintain stable computer input voltages). In addition to providing the computer and its associated equipment, IBM was also responsible for integrating the computer with the systems and components it connected with electrically, including the inertial platform, rendezvous radar, time reference system, digital command system, data acquisition system, attitude control and maneuver electronics, the launch vehicle autopilot, console controls and displays, and aerospace ground equipment.

1962 April 25 - .
  • Studebaker subcontract for two backup heatshields for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Studebaker Corporation's CTL Division, Cincinnati, Ohio, received a subcontract for $457,875 from McDonnell to provide two backup heatshields for the Gemini spacecraft, similar in material and fabrication technique to those used in Project Mercury. The CTL heatshield would be used only if a new shield McDonnell was working on proved unusable. Test results from screening advanced heatshield materials had yielded four promising materials. McDonnell had contracted with Vidya, Inc., Palo Alto, California (March 16), and Chicago Midway Laboratories, Chicago, Illinois (mid-April), to test the new ablation materials.

1962 April 26-27 - .
  • Meeting to review the design and testing philosophy for the half-scale test vehicle (HSTV) in phase II-A. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. Representatives of North American, NASA Headquarters, Langley Research Center, Flight Research Center, Ames Research Center, and Manned Spacecraft Center met to review the design and testing philosophy for the half-scale test vehicle (HSTV) in phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. After the emergency parachute recovery system had been qualified, the HSTV would be used to evaluate paraglider stability and control in drop tests with the wing predeployed and to provide empirical data on the functioning of vehicle systems in deployment tests. At the end of the review, the NASA Half Scale Test Vehicle Design Review Board recommended 21 changes in test vehicle design and test procedures to North American.

1962 May 1 - .
  • McDonnell proposed to evaluate the Gemini redezvous radar and spacecraft maneuvering system on early flights by using a rendezvous evaluation pod to be ejected from the spacecraft in orbit. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar; Gemini REP. Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) liked the idea and asked McDonnell to pursue the study. During the last week in June, McDonnell received approval from MSC to go ahead with the design and development of the rendezvous pod. It would contain a radar transponder, C-band beacon, flashing light, and batteries.

1962 May 4 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center issued its third analysis of the Gemini program schedule. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. Summary: Spacecraft ground test plans had been formulated, and the construction of test hardware had begun. . Additional Details: here....

1962 May 10-11 - .
  • The postlanding survival kit proposed for use by Gemini crew members would be basically similar to the one used in Project Mercury. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Each kit would weigh about 24 pounds, and one kit would be provided for each crew member..

1962 May 12 - . LV Family: Atlas; Titan.
  • Project Gemini cost estimates had tripled from the original estimate of $250 million. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Webb. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. James E. Webb, NASA's new Administrator, reviewed the Gemini program. Project Gemini cost estimates at this point ($744.3 million) had increased substantially over the original estimate of $250 million. Estimated spacecraft cost had risen from $240.5 to $391.6 million; Titan II cost, from $113.0 to $161.8 million; Atlas-Agena, from $88.0 to $106.3 million; and supporting development (including the paraglider program), from $29.0 to $36.8 million. Estimated operations costs had declined from $59.0 to $47.8 million.

1962 May 14-15 - .
  • Representatives of McDonnell, Northrop Ventura (formerly Radioplane), Weber Aircraft, and Manned Spacecraft Center attended the first ejection seat design review at McDonnell in St Louis. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection.

1962 May 16-17 - .
  • At a mechanical systems coordination meeting, representatives of McDonnell and Gemini Project Office decided to develop more powerful retrograde rocket motors for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. The new motors, similar in configuration to the old but with some three times the thrust level, would permit retrorocket aborts at altitudes as low as 72,000 to 75,000 feet. McDonnell's original subcontract with Thiokol was accordingly terminated and a new subcontract was let on July 20. Development of the new motors was expected to cost $1.255 million.

1962 May 18 - .
  • McDonnell subcontracted the parachute landing system for Gemini to Northrop Ventura at an estimated cost of $1,829,272. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. The parachute landing system was to be used for the first Gemini flight. Gemini Project Office had decided in April on using a single-chute system, one 84.2-foot diameter ring-sail parachute. At a mechanical systems coordination meeting in Houston on May 16-17, however, it was decided to add an 18-foot ring-sail drogue parachute to the system. McDonnell proposed deploying the drogue at 10,000 feet, two seconds after release of the rendezvous and recovery system. Fifteen seconds later the main recovery parachute would switch from single-point to two-point suspension, followed in five seconds by the initiation of reaction control system propellant dump which would take no longer that 105 seconds. The recovery parachute would be jettisoned shortly after impact. At another coordination meeting on May 23-24, Manned Spacecraft Center concurred in this proposed sequencing.

1962 May 23 - .
  • Ames Research Center began the first wind tunnel test of the half-scale inflatable paraglider wing in support of the Paraglider Development Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. This was the first test of a large-scale inflatable paraglider wing in the full-scale test facility. Purpose of the test was to obtain basic aerodynamic and loads data for the combined wing/spacecraft system and to spot and evaluate potential aerodynamic and design problem areas. The flight regimes studied included wing deployment as well as glide, preflare, and flare. In the last stages of the test, the sail ripped. Since the basic objectives had already been achieved, and the failure occurred under conditions more stringent than any expected during flight testing, only minor corrective action was considered necessary and the test was not repeated. Testing ended July 25; at a paraglider landing system coordination meeting on July 26, the Ames test program was considered completed.

1962 May 23-24 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center concurred in McDonnell's proposed sequencing of the paraglider recovery system. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. In a normal mission, the drogue parachute (a small parachute to pull the recovery compartment away from the spacecraft and strip the paraglider from the recovery compartment) would deploy at 60,000 feet, followed by the release of the rendezvous and recovery section at 50,000 feet. Starting at 10,000 feet, all reaction control system propellant remaining after the paraglider had been deployed would be dumped. The paraglider wing itself would be jettisoned shortly after touchdown. At this point, plans called for the paraglider to be used on all Gemini missions except the first.

1962 May 24 - .
  • North American began a test program to qualify the emergency parachute system for the half-scale flight test vehicle required for Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. The first two drop tests were successful (May 24, June 20); but during the third (July 10), the main recovery parachute failed to deploy. The trouble was analyzed and detailed modifications were worked out at a meeting on August 16 between North American and Northrop Ventura. The modifications proved successful in the fourth test (September 4), and Manned Spacecraft Center concurred with North American in judging the emergency parachute system for the half-scale test program to be qualified.

1962 May 29 - .
  • Plans for development testing of the Gemini ejection seat. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. Representatives of McDonnell, Weber Aircraft, Gemini Procurement Office, Life Systems Division, Gemini Project Office, and US Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California, concluded plans for development testing of the spacecraft ejection seat. Requirements peculiar to the Gemini spacecraft, in particular off-the-pad abort capability, caused the plan to stress testing from a stationary tower early in the test program. The purpose of these simulated off-the-pad ejection tests was to investigate the effects of varying the center of gravity on the trajectory of the ejected seat and to optimize the timing of the recovery sequence. Tower tests began July 2. They were to be followed by rocket sled ejection tests to investigate simultaneous ejection with open hatches at maximum dynamic pressure. Sled tests actually began on November 9, before tower tests had been completed.

1962 June 4 - .
  • The Air Force School of Aviation Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, began a simulated long-duration Gemini mission. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini ECS. Summary: Two men were to live for 14 days in a 100-percent-oxygen atmosphere maintained at a pressure of 5 pounds per square inch, the proposed spacecraft environment..

1962 June 6 - .
  • McDonnell was authorized to procure an additional boilerplate spacecraft for parachute landing system tests. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. The original plan called for McDonnell to use the boilerplate spacecraft fabricated by North American for qualification testing of the emergency parachute system for the paraglider drop tests. McDonnell estimated, however, that modifying the North American boilerplate would cost from $17,000, to $19,000, whereas a new boilerplate would cost from $10,000 to $12.000.

1962 June 20 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center authorized North American to go ahead with Phase II, Part B(1), of the Paraglider Development Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Letter contract NAS 9-539 followed. Under this contract, North American was to design, build and test an advanced two-man paraglider trainer, to initiate a flight simulation program for pilot training, and to complete the design of a man-rated Gemini paraglider wing. The final contract was awarded on October 31, 1962.

1962 June 21-22 - .
  • A paraglider full-scale test vehicle Design Engineering Inspection was held at North American's Space and Information Systems Division in Downey, California. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. The Manned Spacecraft Center inspecting team reviewed the design of the full-scale paraglider wing, capsule, and associated equipment, as well as the test program and schedules for Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. The team suggested 33 changes, mostly related to hardware.

1962 June 25 - .
  • Gemini Project Office reported that a thorough study of the reentry tracking histories of the Mercury-Atlas 4, 5, 6 and 7 missions had been completed. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Summary: The study indicated that a C-band radar tracking beacon should be integrated into the spacecraft reentry section in place of the planned S-band beacon. The change would improve the probability of tracking spacecraft reentry through the ionization zone..

1962 June 28 - .
  • McDonnell and North American representatives met for the first time to exchange detailed technical information on the installation of the paraglider in the spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide.

1962 July 2 - .
  • Simulated off-the-pad ejection tests began at Naval Ordnance Test Station. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. Five ejections were completed by the first week of August. The tests revealed difficulties which led to two important design changes: the incorporation of a drogue-gun method of deploying the personnel parachute and the installation of a three-point restraint-harness-release system similar to those used in military aircraft. August 6-7 representatives of Manned Spacecraft Center and ejection system contractors met to review the status of ejection seat design and the development test program. They decided that off-the-pad ejection tests would not be resumed until ejection seat hardware reflected all major anticipated design features and the personnel parachute had been fully tested. Design changes were checked out in a series of bench and ground firings, concluding on August 30 with a successful inflight drop test of a seat and dummy. Off-the-pad testing resumed in September.

1962 July 11 - .
  • The capability for successfully accomplishing water landings with either the parachute landing system or the paraglider landing system was established as a firm requirement for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. Summary: The spacecraft would be required to provide for the safety of the crew and to be seaworthy during a water landing and a 36-hour postlanding period..

1962 July 19 - .
  • Gemini Project Office and North American agreed on guidelines for the design of the advanced paraglider trainer, the paraglider system to be used with static test article No. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Summary: 2, and the paraglider system for the Gemini spacecraft. The most important of these guidelines was that redundancy would be provided for all critical operations..

1962 July 20 - .
  • NASA Mission Control Center would be located at Houston - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Webb. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA Administrator James E. Webb announced that the Mission Control Center for future manned space flights would be located at MSC. The Center would be operational in time for Gemini rendezvous flights in 1964 and later Apollo lunar missions. The overriding factor in the choice of MSC was the existing location of the Apollo Spacecraft Project Office, the astronauts, and Flight Operations Division at Houston.

1962 July 25 - .
  • McDonnell reported reducing the rated thrust of the two forward-firing thrusters from 100 pounds to 85 pounds to reduce disturbance torques generated in the event of maneuvers with one engine out. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS.

1962 July 29-August 4 - .
  • Adaptation of the Gemini-type heatshield to Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: As a result of an MSC in-house technical review, NAA was directed to investigate the adaptation of the Gemini-type heatshield to the Apollo spacecraft..

1962 August - .
  • Rocketdyne completed designing and fabricating prototype hardware for both spacecraft liquid propulsion systems and initiated testing of the reaction control system. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Summary: Test firing of the 25-pound-thrust chambers revealed nozzle erosion causing degradation in performance after one third the specified burn time..

1962 August 2 - .
  • North American began a test program to qualify the emergency parachute recovery system for the full-scale test vehicle in Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. The first test was successful. In the second test (August 22), one of the three main parachutes was lost after deployment, but no damage resulted. In the third test (September 7), only minor damage was sustained despite the loss of two parachutes. The test series ended on November 15 when all recovery parachutes separated from the spacecraft immediately after deployment and the test vehicle was destroyed on impact. Manned Spacecraft Center decided to terminate this portion of the test program but directed McDonnell to supply North American with a boilerplate spacecraft for further tests at a later date.

1962 August 8 - .
  • Facilities at El Centro Apollo and Gemini drop-tests - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Representatives of the MSC Gemini Project Office and Facilities Division inspected the proposed hangar and office facilities to be refurbished at El Centro Naval Air Facility, Calif., for joint use in the Apollo and Gemini drop-test programs..

1962 August 14 - .
  • Flight tests of the half-scale vehicle (HSTV) in the Paraglider Development Program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. North American began flight tests of the half-scale vehicle (HSTV) in Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program two months behind schedule. The instrumented HSTV with the paraglider predeployed was towed aloft by helicopter. Objectives of the predeployed flights were to evaluate flight performance, longitudinal and lateral control characteristics, effectiveness of control, and the flare maneuver capability of the paraglider. Despite various minor malfunctions in all five test flights (August 14, 17, 23, September 17, and October 23, 1962), test results verified the stability of the wing/vehicle combination in free flight and the adequacy of control effectiveness.

1962 August 15-16 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center reviewed engineering mock-up of the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Chamberlin. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) formally reviewed McDonnell's engineering mock-up of the Gemini spacecraft in St Louis. The company had begun building the mock-up in January, shortly after receiving the spacecraft contract. Mock-up review had originally been scheduled for mid-July, but informal examinations by MSC representatives, including James A Chamberlin and several astronauts, had produced some suggested changes. The review itself resulted in McDonnell's receiving 167 requests for alterations. MSC inspected the revised mock-up in November.

1962 September 1 - .
  • George W. Jeffs became Program Manager of the Paraglider Development Program at North American. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. He replaced N. F. Witte, who remained as Assistant Program Manager. This organizational change reflected the elevation of work on paraglider from project to program status within North American's Space and Information Systems Division. The paraglider program achieved operating division status three months later when Jeffs was appointed Vice President of Space and Information Systems Division.

1962 September 4 - .
  • Gemini Project Office directed McDonnell to provide spacecraft No. 3 with rendezvous radar capability and to provide a rendezvous evaluation pod as a requirement for missions 2 and 3. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 3. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar; Gemini REP. Summary: Four pods were required: one prototype, two flight articles, and one flight spare..

1962 September 6 - .
  • A study group formed at the Gemini mock-up review of August 15-16 met to review the ejection seat development program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. McDonnell reported the successful completion of redesign and testing which cleared the way for resumption of off-the-pad developmental testing. McDonnell described the major outstanding design task as the determination of the dynamic center of gravity of the seat-man combination under expected acceleration profiles.

1962 September 12 - .
  • Simulated off-the-pad tests of the redesigned Gemini escape system resumed with test No. 6. Test No. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. 7 followed on September 20. Though primarily successful, these tests revealed some problems. The seat-structure thrust pad required reanalysis and redesign. Simulated off-the-pad testing was temporarily halted until a final configuration rocket catapult became available. A rocket motor test on January 4, 1963, demonstrated the structural integrity of the thrust-pad area, and simulated pad ejection tests resumed the following month.

1962 September 17 - .
  • Nine new astronauts named - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong; Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA's nine new astronauts were named in Houston, Tex., by Robert R. Gilruth, MSC Director. Chosen from 253 applicants, the former test pilots who would join the original seven Mercury astronauts in training for Projects Gemini and Apollo were: Neil A. Armstrong, NASA civilian test pilot; Maj. Frank Borman, Air Force; Lt. Charles Conrad, Jr., Navy; Lt.Cdr. James A, Lovell, Jr., Navy; Capt. James A. McDivitt, Air Force; Elliot M. See, Jr., civilian test pilot for the General Electric Company; Capt. Thomas P. Stafford, Air Force; Capt. Edward H. White II, Air Force; and Lt. Cdr. John W. Young, Navy.

1962 September 19 - .
  • ACF Electronics delivered an engineering prototype radar beacon to McDonnell. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Summary: An engineering prototype C-band beacon had operated at ACF Electronics under simulated reentry conditions with no degredation in performance..

1962 September - .
  • Freeze-dried food for the Apollo program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. The freeze-dried food that would be used in the Gemini program would also be provided for the Apollo program. Forty-two pounds of food would be necessary for a 14-day lunar landing mission. Potable water would be supplied by the fuel cells and processed by the environmental control system. A one-day water supply of six pounds per man would be provided at launch as an emergency ration if needed before the fuel cells were fully operative.

1962 October 5 - .
  • Radiation hazards for Gemini missions. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. McDonnell and Lockheed reported on radiation hazards and constraints for Gemini missions at a Trajectories and Orbits Coordination meeting. McDonnell's preliminary findings indicated no radiation hazard for normal Gemini operations with some shielding; with no shielding the only constraint was on the 14-day mission, which would have to be limited to an altitude of 115 nautical miles. Lockheed warned that solar flares would pose a problem at higher altitudes. Lockheed also recommended limiting operations to under 300 miles pending more data on the new radiation belts created by the Atomic Energy Commission's Project Dominic in July 1962.

1962 October 16 - .
  • Selection of the IBM to provide ground-based computer system for Projects Gemini and Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: NASA announced the selection of the International Business Machines Corporation to provide a ground-based computer system for Projects Gemini and Apollo. The computer complex would be part of the mission control center at MSC..

1962 October 19 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • NASA Headquarters' recent decision to cut the MSC budget for fiscal year 1963 from $687 million to $660 million. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Chamberlin. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Wesley L. Hjornevik, Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) Assistant Director for Administration, described to members of MSC's senior staff the implications of NASA Headquarters' recent decision to cut the MSC budget for fiscal year 1963 from $687 million to $660 million, the entire reduction to be borne by the Gemini program. Hjornevik feared that the Gemini budget, already tight, could absorb so large a cut only by dropping the paraglider, Agena, and all rendezvous equipment from the program. Gemini Project Office (GPO) reported that funding limitations had already forced Martin and McDonnell to reduce their level of activity. The first Gemini flight (unmanned) was rescheduled for December 1963, with the second (manned) to follow three months later, and subsequent flights at two-month intervals, with the first Agena (fifth mission) in August or September 1964. This four-month delay imposed by budget limitations required a large-scale reprogramming of Gemini development work, reflected chiefly in drastic reduction in the scale of planned test programs. Details of the necessary reprogramming had been worked out by December 20, when GPO Manager James A. Chamberlin reported that December 1963 was a realistic date for the first Gemini flight. Gemini funding for fiscal year 1963 totaled $232.8 million.

1962 October 23 - .
  • Gemini ground support equipment for Apollo program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: At the request of NASA, about 300 pieces of Gemini ground support equipment were examined by NAA engineers. It appeared that about 190 items would be usable on the Apollo program..

1962 October 31 - .
  • The apogee of the basic spacecraft orbit model was set at 167 nautical miles, the perigee of the elliptical orbit at 87. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: The altitude of the circular orbit of the target vehicle was to be 161 nautical miles..

1962 October - .
  • Gemini fuel cell for the lunar excursion module studied - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. The feasibility of using the Gemini fuel cell for the lunar excursion module was studied by NAA. However, because of modifications to meet Apollo control and auxiliary requirements, the much lighter Gemini system would ultimately weigh about as much as the Apollo fuel cell. In addition, the Gemini fuel cell schedule would slip if the system had to be adapted to the Apollo mission.

1962 November 9 - .
  • Sled ejection test No. 1 was conducted at Naval Ordnance Test Station. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. Despite its designation, this test did not call for seats actually to be ejected. Its purpose was to provide data on the aerodynamic drag of the test vehicle and to prove the test vehicle's structural soundness in preparation for future escape system tests. The test vehicle, mounted by boilerplate spacecraft No. 3 (a welded steel mock-up of the Gemini spacecraft aerodynamically similar to the flight article), was a rocket-propelled sled running on tracks. Although test objectives were achieved, the boilerplate spacecraft was severly damaged when one of the sled motors broke loose and penetrated the heatshield, causing a fire which destroyed much instrumentation and equipment. Despite repairs required for the boilerplate and major modification or rebuilding of the sled, Gemini Project Office foresaw no delay in the sled test program.

1962 November 20 - .
  • Invitations to ten firms to submit bids for a manned spaceflight control center at Houston - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA invited ten industrial firms to submit bids by December 7 for a contract to build a control center at MSC and to integrate ground operational support systems for Apollo and the rendezvous phases of Gemini. On January 28, 1963, NASA announced that the contract had been awarded to the Philco Corporation, a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company.

1962 November 21 - .
  • McDonnell's subcontract with Studebaker for the backup heatshield terminated. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. At a mechanical systems coordination meeting, representatives of McDonnell and Manned Spacecraft Center decided to terminate McDonnell's subcontract with CTL Division of Studebaker for the backup heatshield. The decision resulted from growing confidence in the new McDonnell design as well as from CTL problems in fabricating heatshield No. 1. Termination of the CTL contract would save an estimated $131,000.

1962 November 30 - .
  • Gemini primary problem area the 25-pound thruster. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Gemini Project Office identified the primary problem area of the spacecraft liquid propellant rocket systems to be the development of a 25-pound thruster able to perform within specification over a burn time of five minutes. Three-minute chambers for the reaction control system (RCS) had been successfully tested, but the longer-duration chambers required for the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) had not. Rocketdyne was three weeks behind schedule in developmental testing of RCS and OAMS components, and five weeks behind in the systems testing.

1962 December 10-11 - .
  • Design Engineering Inspection of the full-scale test vehicle (FSTV) for Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Representatives of Manned Spacecraft Center, NASA Headquarters, Flight Research Center, Langley Research Center, and Ames Research Center conducted a Design Engineering Inspection of the full-scale test vehicle (FSTV) for Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. As conceived during Phase I of the program, the FSTVs (the contract called for two) were to be a means of meeting a twofold objective: (1) the development of systems and techniques for wing deployment and (2) the evaluation of flight performance and control characteristics during glide. After reviewing flight test objectives, test vehicle hardware, and electrical and electronic systems, the inspecting team submitted 24 requests for alterations to North American.

1962 December 10 - .
  • North American began deployment flight testing of the half-scale test vehicle (HSTV) in Phase II-A of the Paraglider Development Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. The HSTV was carried aloft slung beneath a helicopter. The main purpose of the deployment flight tests was to investigate problem areas in the transition from release of the rendezvous and recovery canister to glide - the ejection, inflation, and deployment of the paraglider wing. The first flight partially substantiated the feasibility of the basic deployment sequence, but emergency recovery procedures were necessary. In the second test (January 8, 1963), the sail disintegrated, and in the third (March 11), the rendezvous and recovery canister failed to separate. In both instances, attempts to recover the vehicle with the emergency system were thwarted when the main parachute failed to deploy, and both vehicles were destroyed on impact.

1962 December 14 - .
  • A 10-percent fluctuating-pressure model of the Gemini spacecraft completed its exit configuration test program in the mach number range of 0.6 to 2.5, the region of maximum dynamic pressure. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection; Gemini Paraglide. On January 15, 1963, a Gemini spacecraft dynamics stability model also completed its test program providing dynamic stability coefficients for the spacecraft reentry at mach numbers 3.0 to 10. These tests completed all the originally scheduled wind tunnel testing for Project Gemini; however, three additional test programs had been initiated. These included additional testing of the spacecraft 20-percent ejection seat model, testing of the astronaut ballute model to obtain data for design of the astronaut stabilization system, and testing of the rigid frame paraglider model to determine optimum sail configuration.

1963 January 4 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center directed McDonnell to study requirements for a spacecraft capable of performing rendezvous experiments on the second and third Gemini flights. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. The experimental package would weigh 70 pounds and would include an L-band radar target, flashing light, battery power supply, and antenna systems. On the second flight, a one-day mission, the experiment was to be performed open-loop, probably optically - the astronaut would observe the target and maneuver the spacecraft to rendezvous with it. On the third flight, a seven-day mission, the experiment was to be performed closed-loop, with spacecraft maneuvers controlled automatically by the data it received from its instruments.

1963 January 8-9 - .
  • Design Engineering Inspection of the advanced trainer for the Paraglider Development Program, Phase II-B. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Representatives of Manned Spacecraft Center, NASA Headquarters, Flight Research Center, Langley Research Center, and Ames Research Center conducted a Design Engineering Inspection of the advanced trainer for the Paraglider Development Program, Phase II-B(1). North American received 36 requests for alterations.

1963 January 8-9 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center outlined requirements for McDonnell to consider concerning aborts in orbit. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. These included onboard controlled reentry for all aborts, except in the event of guidance and control system failure; onboard selection of one of the emergency abort target areas; navigational accuracy to a two-mile radius error at the point of impact; and crew capability to eject from the spacecraft with the paraglider deployed.

1963 January 11 - .
  • Astronauts to visit with workers at various contractors' plants. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Slayton; Chamberlin. Spacecraft: Gemini. To stimulate contractor employees to better performance, Gemini Project Office Manager James A. Chamberlin suggested that astronauts visit with workers at various contractors' plants. Donald K Slayton, Astronaut Activities Office, informed Chamberlin that such visits would be made, beginning with the Martin Company in February 1963.

1963 January 14 - .
  • Gemini on-board computer issues. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. In the opinion of Flight Operations Division's Project Gemini working group: 'One of the biggest problem areas seems to be the on-board computer; exactly what is it going to do; what is its sequence of operation; what does it need from the ground computer complex and how often; exactly how is it used by astronauts; what is the job of the on-board computer for early missions?'

1963 January 19 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C.
  • McNamara requests review of the Titan III nd Gemini programs. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Gemini. Summary: The Secretary of Defense directed a review of the Titan III program and the Gemini program of NASA..

1963 January 21 - .
  • Defense department participation in Gemini program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Gemini. Summary: The Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration completed an agreement for defense department participation in the Gemini program..

1963 January 22 - .
  • North American received a letter contract for Phase III, Part I, of the Paraglider Development Program, to produce a Gemini paraglider landing system. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Summary: This contract was subsequently incorporated as Change No. 6 to Contract NAS 9-539, Phase II-B(1) of the Paraglider Development Program..

1963 January 22 - .
  • Results of operating the first fuel cell section. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. In an electrical systems coordination meeting at Manned Spacecraft Center, results of operating the first fuel cell section were reported: a fuel cell stack had failed and the resultant fire had burned a hole through the case. Another section was being assembled from stacks incorporating thicker ion-exchange membranes. One such stack, of six fuel cells, had operated for 707 hours within specification limits, and after 875 hours was five percent below specified voltage; a similar stack was well within specification after operating 435 hours.

1963 January 26 - .
  • New assignments for the seven original astronauts - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cooper; Grissom; Slayton; Carpenter; Shepard; Schirra; Glenn; Armstrong; Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC announced new assignments for the seven original astronauts: L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., and Alan B. Shepard, Jr., would be responsible for the remaining pilot phases of Project Mercury; Virgil I. Grissom would specialize in Project Gemini; John H. Glenn, Jr., would concentrate on Project Apollo; M. Scott Carpenter would cover lunar excursion training; and Walter M. Schirra, Jr., would be responsible for Gemini and Apollo operations and training. As Coordinator for Astronaut Activities, Donald K. Slayton would maintain overall supervision of astronaut duties.

    Specialty areas for the second generation were: trainers and simulators, Neil A. Armstrong; boosters, Frank Borman; cockpit layout and systems integration, Charles Conrad, Jr.; recovery system, James A. Lovell, Jr.; guidance and navigation, James A. McDivitt; electrical, sequential, and mission planning, Elliot M. See, Jr.; communications, instrumentation, and range integration, Thomas P. Stafford; flight control systems, Edward H. White II; and environmental control systems, personal equipment, and survival equipment, John W. Young.


1963 January 26 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center announced specialty areas for the nine new astronauts. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong; Borman; Conrad; Lovell; McDivitt; See; Stafford; White; Young. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini ECS. Manned Spacecraft Center announced specialty areas for the nine new astronauts: trainers and simulators, Neil A. Armstrong; boosters, Frank Borman; cockpit layout and systems integration, Charles Conrad, Jr.; recovery systems, James A. Lovell, Jr.; guidance and navigation, James A. McDivitt; electrical, Sequential, and mission planning, Elliot M. See, Jr.; communications, instrumentation, and range integration, Thomas P. Stafford; flight control systems, Edward H White II; and environmental control systems, personal and survival equipment, John W Young.

1963 February 1 - .
  • Location of earth landing sites for Gemini and Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Walter C. Williams, MSC's Associate Director, defined the Center's criteria on the location of earth landing sites for Gemini and Apollo spacecraft: site selection as well as mode of landing (i.e., land versus water) for each mission should be considered separately. Constraints on trajectory, landing accuracy, and landing systems must be considered, as well as lead time needed to construct landing area facilities. Both Gemini and Apollo flight planning had to include water as well as land landing modes.Although the Apollo earth landing system was designed to withstand the shock of coming down on varying terrains, some experience was necessary to verify this capability. Because of the complexity of the Apollo mission and because the earth landing system did not provide a means of avoiding obstacles, landing accuracy was even more significant for Apollo than for Gemini. With so many variables involved, Williams recommended that specific landing locations for future missions not be immediately designated.

1963 February 6 - .
  • Astronaut trainees concluded their formal academic training with a course on orbital mechanics and flight dynamics. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. Flight crew personnel had been receiving basic science training for two days a week over the past four months. During this period, they also received Gemini spacecraft and launch vehicle familiarization courses and visited several contractor facilities, including McDonnell, Martin, Aerojet, and Lockheed. Among subjects studied were astronomy, physics of the upper atmosphere and space, global meteorology, selenology, guidance and navigation, computers, fluid mechanics, rocket propulsion systems, aerodynamics, communications, environmental control systems, and medical aspects of space flight. Flight-crew training plans for the rest of the year, which were being formulated during February, called for space science and technology seminars, celestial recognition training, monitoring the Mercury-Atlas 9 flight, weightless flying, pressure suit indoctrination, parachute jumping, survival training, instruction in spacecraft systems and launch support, paraglider flying, centrifuge experience, docking practice, and work with the flight simulator.

1963 February 7 - .
  • Simulated off-the-pad ejection test No. 8. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. Simulated off-the-pad ejection test No. 8 was conducted at Naval Ordnance Test Station. Two dummies were ejected, and for the first time the test incorporated a ballute system. The ballute (for balloon + parachute) had been introduced as a device to stabilize the astronaut after ejection at high altitudes. Ejection seat and dummy separated satisfactorily and the personnel parachute deployed properly; but faults in the test equipment prevented the canopy from fully inflating. The ballute failed to inflate or release properly on either dummy. As a result, the parachute was redesigned to ensure more positive inflation at very low dynamic pressures. The redesigned chute was tested in a series of five entirely successful dummy drops during March.

1963 February 8 - .
  • Northrop Ventura successfully completed the first series of 20 drop tests in developing the parachute recovery system for Project Gemini. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. Summary: The first four drops, during the last two weeks of August 1962, used a dummy rendezvous and recovery (R and R) section with the 18-foot drogue parachute to determine the rate of descent of the R and R section. . Additional Details: here....

1963 February 8 - .
  • Department of Defense objectives in the Gemini program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. Colonel Kenneth W Schultz of Headquarters, Air Force Office of Development Planning, outlined Department of Defense objectives in the Gemini program at the first meeting of the Gemini Program Planning Board. He defined three general objectives: conducting orbital experiments related to such possible future missions as the inspection and interception of both cooperative and passive or noncooperative objects in space under a variety of conditions, logistic support of a manned orbiting laboratory, and photo reconnaissance from orbit; gaining military experience and training in all aspects of manned space flight; and assessing the relationship between man and machine in the areas of potential military missions.

1963 February 15 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • Agena target vehicle checkout plans were presented at a meeting of the Gemini Management Panel. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Upon receipt at Cape Canaveral, the target vehicle would be inspected and certified. After this action, mechanical mate and interface checks with the target docking adapter would be accomplished. Agena-Gemini spacecraft compatibilty tests would then be conducted, and the Agena would undergo validation and weight checks. Subsequently, a joint checkout of the spacecraft and Agena would be conducted with tests on the Merritt Island radar tower.

1963 February 28 - .
  • Gemini Project Office reported that spacecraft No. 3 had been reassigned to the Gemini flight program. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 3. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection; Gemini Paraglide. Summary: It had originally been scheduled for use in Project Orbit tests, a program of simulated manned orbital flights in the McDonnell vacuum chamber. . Additional Details: here....

1963 February 28 - .
  • Gemini Project Office (GPO) published a bar chart depicting preflight check-out of the Gemini spacecraft in the industrial area at Cape Canaveral. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. The chart outlined tests on all sections of the spacecraft, the target docking adapter, and the paraglider, from initial receiving inspection through completion of preparations for movement to the launch pad. GPO expected industrial testing to take about 90 working days, based on two full shifts of testing per day and a third shift of partial testing and partial maintenance.

1963 February 28 - .
  • Successful achievement of the full burn-time duration specified for the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) 25-pound thruster. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Gemini Project Office reported Rocketdyne's successful achievement of the full 270-second burn-time duration specified for steady-state operation of the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) 25-pound thruster. This had been the primary focus of Rocketdyne's research effort, in line with McDonnell's position that meeting steady-state life operations with the 25-pound OAMS thrust chamber assembly (TCA) was the key to resolving major problems in the development of spacecraft liquid propulsion systems. McDonnell engineers believed that a TCA design able to meet the steady-state life performance required of the 25-pound OAMS TCA would also be adequate to meet pulse-life performance requirements, and that a satisfactory 25-pound TCA would only have to be enlarged to provide a satisfactory 100-pound TCA. They were wrong on both counts. Rocketdyne subsequently shifted its primary TCA effort to obtaining life during pulse operation for 25-pound thrusters and steady-state life operation for 100-pound thrusters.

1963 March 5 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • Gemini Project Office discussed with contractors the establishment of a philosophy for the final phase of the rendezvous mission. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. They agreed on the following general rules: (1) when the launch was on time, the terminal maneuver would be initiated when the Agena came within range of the spacecraft's sensors, which would occur between spacecraft insertion and first apogee; (2) automatic and optical terminal guidance techniques would always back each other up, one method being selected as an objective for each mission and the other serving as a standby; (3) during early rendezvous missions, the terminal phase would be initiated by the third spacecraft apogee or delayed until the twelfth because of range radar tracking limitations; (4) for the same reason, no midcourse corrections should be made during orbits 4 through 11; (5) in case of extreme plane or phase errors, the Agena would be maneuvered to bring it within the spacecraft's maneuver capability; and (6) after such gross Agena maneuvers, the Agena orbit would be recircularized and two orbits of spacecraft catchup would precede the initiation of terminal rendezvous plan.

1963 March 11 - .
  • A series of problems in the Paraglider Development Program culminated in the loss of a second half-scale test vehicle in a deployment flight test. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 7. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Summary: As early as October 19, 1962, budget pressure had prompted some consideration of dropping a paraglider from the Gemini Program. . Additional Details: here....

1963 March 12 - .
  • North American let the first of three major subcontracts for the Gemini Paraglider Landing System Program to Northrop for a parachute recovery system in the amount of $461,312. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. A $1,034,003 subcontract for the paraglider control actuation assembly went to the Aerospace Division of Vickers, Inc., Detroit, Michigan, on March 25. The third major subcontract, $708,809 for the paraglider electronic control system, was let to the Aeronautical Division of Minneapolis-Honeywell on May 13.

1963 March 15 - .
  • Comparison of the military potentials of Dyna-Soar and Gemini. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Gemini. Summary: The Secretary of Defense directed the Air Force to conduct a comparison of the military potentials of Dyna-Soar and Gemini..

1963 March 19 - .
  • Chamberlin reassigned from Manager of Project Gemini. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gilruth; Chamberlin. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. James A Chamberlin was reassigned from Manager of Project Gemini to Senior Engineering Advisor to Robert R Gilruth, Director of Manned Spacecraft Center. Charles W Mathews was reassigned from Chief, Spacecraft Technology Division, to Acting Manager of Project Gemini.

1963 March 20 - .
  • Qualification tests of the production prototype ablation heatshield for the Gemini spacecraft began. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Structural and material properties specimen tests had already shown that the shield either satisfied or exceeded the required design level..

1963 March 21 - .
  • Contract with Philco Corporation to implement the Integrated Mission Control Center. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. A contract for $33,797,565, including fixed fee, was signed with Philco Corporation, Philadelphia, Pennysylvania, to implement the Integrated Mission Control Center. Philco would provide all the flight information and control display equipment except the real-time computer complex, which was to be built and maintained by International Business Machines Corporation. Philco would also assist Manned Spacecraft Center in maintaining and operating the equipment for at least one year after acceptance. Philco had been selected from seven qualified bidders, and final contract negotiations had begun February 25, 1963.

1963 April 2 - .
  • Final contract with McDonnell for the Gemini spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA announced the signing of a contract with McDonnell for the Gemini spacecraft. Final negotiations had been completed February 27, 1963. Estimated cost was $428,780,062 with a fixed fee of $27,870,000 for a total estimated cost-plus-fixed-fee of $456,650,062. NASA Headquarters spent two weeks on a detailed review of the contract before signing. Development of the spacecraft had begun in December 1961 under a preliminary letter contract which the final contract superseded. The contract call for a 13 flight-rated spacecraft, 12 to be used in space flight, one to be used for ground testing. In addition, McDonnell would provide two mission simulator trainers, a docking simulator trainer, five boilerplates, and three static articles for vibration and impact ground tests.

1963 April 2 - .
  • $42.638 million increase in Gemini's actual 1963 budget. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Testifying before the Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, D Brainerd Holmes, Director of Manned Space Flight, sought to justify a $42.638 million increase in Gemini's actual 1963 budget over that previously estimated. Holmes explained: 'This increase is identified primarily with an increase of $49.9 million in spacecraft. The fiscal 1963 congressional budget request was made at the suggestion of the contractor. The increase reflects McDonnell's six months of actual experience in 1963.' The subcommittee was perturbed that the contractor could so drastically underestimate Gemini costs, especially since it was chosen without competition because of supposed competence derived from Mercury experience. Holmes attributed McDonnell's underestimate to unexpectedly high bids from subcontractors and provided for the record a statement of some of the reasons for the change: 'These original estimates made in December 1961 by NASA and McDonnell were based on minimum changes from Mercury technology ..... As detailed specifications for subsystems performance were developed ....... realistic cost estimates, not previously available, were obtained from subcontractors. The first of these ....... were obtained by McDonnell in April 1962 and revealed significantly higher estimates than were originally used. For example: (a) In data transmission, it became necessary to change from a Mercury-type system to a pulse code modulation (PCM) system because of increased data transmission requirements, and the need to reduce weight and electrical power. The Gemini data transmission system will be directly applicable to Apollo. (b) Other subsystems have a similar history. The rendezvous radar was originally planned to be similar to ones used by the Bomarc Missile, but it was found necessary to design an interferometer type radar for low weight, small volume, and to provide the highest reliability possible. (c) The environmental control system was originally planned as two Mercury-type systems, but as the detail specifications became definitive it was apparent that the Mercury ECS was inadequate and, although extensive use of Mercury design techniques were utilized, major modifications were required.'

1963 April 9 - .
  • George M Low, Director of Spacecraft and Flight Missions, Office of Manned Space Flight, explained to the House Subcommittee on Manned Space Flight why eight rendezvous missions were planned. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System; Gemini Radar. 'In developing the rendezvous capability, we must study a number of different possible ways of conducting the rendezvous ..... For example, we can conduct a rendezvous maneuver in Gemini by purely visual or optical means. In this case there will be a flashing light on the target vehicle. The pilot in the spacecraft will look out of his window and he will rendezvous and fly the spacecraft toward the flashing light and perform the docking. This is one extreme of a purely manual system. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have a purely automatic system in which we have a radar, computer, and stabilized platform and, from about 200 or 500 miles out, the spacecraft and the target vehicle can lock on to each other by radar and all maneuvers take place automatically from that point on. We know from our studies on the ground and our simulations that the automatic way is probably the most efficient way of doing it. We would need the least amount of fuel to do it automatically. On the other hand it is also the most complex way. We need more equipment, and more equipment can fail this maneuver so it might not be the most reliable way. The completely visual method is least efficient as far as propellants are concerned, but perhaps the simplest. In between there are many possible combinations of these things. For example, we could use a radar for determining the distance and the relative velocity between the two without determining the relative angle between the two spacecraft and let the man himself determine the relative angle. We feel we must get actual experience in space flight of a number of these possibilities before we can perform the lunar orbit rendezvous for Apollo.'

1963 April 29 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • NASA Headquarters approved rescheduling of the Gemini flight program as proposed by Gemini Project Office (GPO). - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. Late delivery of the spacecraft systems coupled with the unexpectedly small number of Mercury systems incorporated in the Gemini spacecraft had forced GPO to review the flight program critically. In the revised program, the first flight was still set for December 1963 and was still to be unmanned, but it was now to be orbital rather than suborbital to flight-qualify launch vehicle subsystems and demonstrate the compatibility of the launch vehicle and spacecraft; no separation or recovery was planned. The second mission, originally a manned orbital flight, now became an unmanned suborbital ballistic flight schedule for July 1964. Its primary objection was to test spacecraft reentry under maximum heating-rate reentry conditions; it would also qualify the launch vehicle and all spacecraft systems required for manned orbital flight. The third flight, formerly planned as a manned orbital rendezvous mission, became the first manned flight, a short-duration (probably three-orbit) systems evaluation flight scheduled for October 1964. Subsequent flights were to follow at three-month intervals, ending in January 1967. Rendezvous terminal maneuvers were planned for missions 3 (if flight duration permitted) and 4, a seven-day mission using a rendezvous pod. The sixth flight was to be a 14-day long-duration mission identical to 4 except that no rendezvous maneuver missions with the Atlas-launched Agena D target vehicle. Water landing by parachute was planned for the first six flights and land landing by paraglider from flight 7 on.

1963 April 30 - .
  • NASA / Department of Defense dispute over Gemini management responsibility. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: McNamara; Seamans. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. In a NASA position paper, stimulated by Secretary of Defense McNamara's testimony on the fiscal year 1964 budget and an article in Missiles and Rockets interpreting his statements, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA Associate Administrator, stressed NASA's primary management responsibility in the Gemini program. McNamara's remarks had been interpreted as presaging an Air Force take-over of Project Gemini. Seamans recognized the vital role of the Department of Defense in Gemini management and operations but insisted that NASA had the final and overall responsibility for program success.

1963 May - .
  • Rocketdyne reactivated the test program on the 100-pound thrust chamber assembly (TCA) for the orbit attitude and maneuver system. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Through March, testing had been at a very low level as Rocketdyne concentrated on the 25-pound TCAs. Testing had ceased altogether in April because hardware was unavailable. Tests had shown, however, that a satisfactory 100-pound TCA design could not be derived from an enlarged 25-pound TCA design. The major objection of the reactivated test program was to achieve steady-state life. Two tests late in May were encouraging: one achieved 575 seconds of operation with no decay in chamber pressure and a performance efficiency of 92 percent; the other operated for 600 seconds with 10 percent decay in chamber pressure and 91.9 percent performance efficiency. Specification performance was 530 seconds with less than 3 percent chamber pressure decay and 93 percent performance efficiency.

1963 May 5 - .
  • NASA awarded Letter Contract NAS 9-1484 to North American for the Paraglider Landing System Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. Work under the contract was to be completed by May 1, 1964, and initial funding was $6.7 million. This contract reflected a reorientation of the paraglider program. Its primary purpose was to develop a complete paraglider landing system and to define all the components of such a system. Among the major tasks this entailed were: (1) completing the design, development, and testing of paraglider subsystems and building and maintaining mock-ups of the vehicle and its subsystems; (2) modifying the paraglider wings procured under earlier contracts to optimize deployment characteristics and designing a prototype wing incorporating aerodynamic improvements; (3) modifying the two full-scale test vehicles produced under Contract NAS 9-167 to incorporate prototype paraglider landing system hardware, modifying the Advanced Paraglider Trainer produced under Contract NAS 9-539 to a tow test vehicle, and fabricating a new, second tow test vehicle; and (4) conducting a flight test program including half-scale tow tests, full-scale boilerplate parachute tests, full-scale deployment tests, and tow test vehicle flight tests. Contract negotiations were completed on July 12, and the final contract was dated September 25, 1963.

1963 May 9 - .
  • Qualification testing of the Gemini parachute recovery system began at E1 Centro, California. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. Boilerplate spacecraft No. 5, a welded steel mock-up of the spacecraft reentry section, was dropped from a C-130 aircraft at 20,000 feet to duplicate dynamic pressure and altitude at which actual spacecraft recovery would be initiated. Four more land-impact tests followed, the last on June 28; all test objectives were successfully accomplished. The main parachute tucking problem, which had appeared and been resolved during development tests, recurred in drops 4 and 5 (June 17, 28). Although this problem did not affect parachute performance, Gemini Project Office decided to suspend qualification testing until the condition could be studied and corrected. Northrop Ventura attributed the tucking to excessive fullness of the parachute canopy and resolved the problem by adding control tapes to maintain proper circumference. Four bomb-drop tests during July proved this solution satisfactory, and qualification testing resumed August 8.

1963 May 10 - .
  • Military potentialities of Dyna-Soar and Gemini compared. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Gemini. Summary: Officials of the Space Systems Division and the Aeronautical Systems Divison completed their joint response to Secretary McNamara's request for the military potentialities of Dyna-Soar and Gemini..

1963 May 15 - .
  • Simulated off-the-pad ejection seat testing resumed with test No. 9. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. McDonnell and Weber Aircraft had completely redesigned the blackboard and mechanism linkage to obtain more reliable load paths and mechanism actuation, and to eliminate the 'add-on' character of the many features and capabilities introduced during seat development which contributed to the unsuccessful test in February. The new design was proved in a series of tests culminating in a preliminary ejection test on April 22. Test No. 9 was followed by test No. 9a on May 25. Both tests were completely successful. Test Nos. 10 and 11 (July 2, 16) completed the development phase of pad ejection testing. Both were dual ejection tests. No. 10 was completely unsuccessful, but No. 11 was marred by the failure of a seat recovery chute (not part of the spacecraft ejection system), resulting in major damage to the seat when it hit the ground.

1963 May 18 - .
  • Rocketdyne successfully tested a 25-pound thrust chamber assembly (TCA) for the reentry control system (RCS) in pulse operation. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Earlier efforts had aimed primarily at achieving steady-state performance, until tests revealed that such performance was no guarantee of adequate pulse performance. Char rate on pulse-cycled, 25-pound RCS TCAs proved to be approximately 1.5 times greater than identical TCAs tested in continuous runs. Several TCAs failed when the ablative material in the combustion chamber was exhausted and the casing charred through. To correct this problem, the ratio of oxidizer to fuel was reduced from 2.05:1 to 1.3:1, significantly decreasing chamber temperature; the mission duty cycle was revised, with required firing time reduced from 142 seconds of specification performance to 101 seconds, without catastrophic failure before 136 seconds; and the thickness of the ablative chamber wall was increased, raising motor diameter from 2.54 to 3.75 inches. The development of a suitable ablative thrust chamber, however, remained a major problem. No RCS TCA design was yet complete, and no 25-pound orbit attitude and maneuver system TCAs had yet been tested on a pulse-duty cycle. Rocketdyne was already three months late in delivering TCA hardware to McDonnell, and all other components had been rescheduled for later delivery. Completion of development testing of components had also been slipped three months.

1963 May 23 - .
  • The first engineering prototype of the onboard computer completed integration testing with the inertial platform at International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and was delivered to McDonnell. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. Summary: At McDonnell, the computer underwent further tests. Some trouble developed during the initial test, but IBM technicians corrected the condition and the computer successfully passed diagnostic test checks..

1963 May 27 - .
  • North American began testing the half-scale two test vehicle (HSTTV) for the Paraglider Landing System Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. The first series of tests, 121 ground tows, ended on July 29. Various wing angle settings and attach points were used to provide preliminary data for rigging analysis and dynamic tow characteristics. The HSTTV was then delivered to Edwards Air Force Base on August 19, where Flight Research Center began its own series of ground tows on August 20. This series of 133 runs was concluded in September and was followed by 11 helicopter tow tests in October. Primary test objectives were to investigate paraglider liftoff characteristics, helicopter tow techniques, and the effects of wind-bending during high speed tows.

1963 June 4-5 - .
  • At a Gemini Abort Panel meeting, McDonnell reported the possibility of dropping the mode 2 lower abort limit to 35,000 to 40,000 feet. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. McDonnell also presented computer data on studies using a combination of mode 2 and mode 1 for launch to T + 10-second aborts; during this period, mode 1 abort might not be adequate. Current Gemini abort modes: mode 1, ejection seats - from pad to 70,000 feet; mode 2, booster shutdown/retrosalvo - 70,000 to approximately 522,000 feet; mode 3, booster shutdown/normal separation - from approximately 522,000 feet until last few seconds of powered flight.

1963 June 13 - .
  • Rocketdyne completed its initial design of the 25-pound thrust chamber assembly (TCA) for both the reentry control system (RCS) and orbit attitude and maneuver system. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Less than a month later, Rocketdyne recommended an entirely new design, which McDonnell approved on July 5. The redesigned TCA was planned for installation in spacecraft Nos. 5 and up. Meanwhile, however, Rocketdyne had established a thrust chamber working group to improve TCA performance. This group designed, built and successfully tested in pulse operation two 25-pound RCS thrusters much more quickly than Rocketdyne had anticipated; thus the new design configuration was incorporated in the manufacturing plan for spacecraft Nos. 2 and up. The design of all TCAs, 25-85-, and 100-pound, were now identical. In reporting these developments, Gemini Project Office attributed the success of the new design to relaxed test requirements rather than to any breakthrough in design or material. In addition to reduced oxidizer-to-fuel ratios and less required firing time, thrust performance requirements were also lowered to 22.5 pounds for the 25-pound thrusters, 77.5 for the 85-pound thrusters, and 91.2 for the 100-pound thrusters.

1963 June 18 - .
  • Blue Gemini - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; Gemini. McNamara believed that the Pentagon needed no manned military spacecraft. His first step in the destruction of Dynasoar was the proposal of a 'Blue Gemini' spacecraft. This would use the two-manned spacecraft being developed by NASA to conduct military manned space experiments scheduled for DynaSoar. General Curtis LeMay countered that the country needed both programs - Blue Gemini and DynaSoar. McNamara responded by insisting that a specific military mission be immediately defined for the X-20, or he would cancel it.

1963 June 19 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • The Cape Gemini/Agena Test Integration Working Group met to define "Plan X" test procedures and responsibilities. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. The purpose of Plan X was to verify the Gemini spacecraft's ability to command the Agena target vehicle both by radio and hardline; to exercise all command, data, and communication links between the spacecraft, target vehicle, and mission control in all practical combinations, first with the two vehicles about six feet apart, then with the vehicles docked and latched but not rigidized; and to familiarize the astronauts with operating the spacecraft/target vehicle combination in a simulated rendezvous mission. Site of the test was to be the Merritt Island Launch Area Radar Range Boresight Tower ('Timber Tower'), a 65 x 25 x 50-foot wooden structure.

1963 June 20 - .
  • Gemini sled test No. 2 at China Lake. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. Sled test No. 2, the first dynamic dual-ejection test of the Gemini escape system, was run at China Lake. Both seats ejected and all systems functioned properly. The test was scheduled to be rerun, however, because the sled failed to attain high enough velocity. The purpose of sled tests in the ejection seat development program was to simulate various high-altitude abort situations. Sled test No. 3 was successfully run on August 9. Further tests were delayed while the ejection system was being redesigned. A modified egress kit was tested in two dummy drops on December 12, with no problems indicated. Gemini Project Office directed McDonnell to proceed with plans for the next sled test. Developmental sled testing on the escape system, incorporating the redesigned egress kit and a soft survival pack, resumed on January 16, 1964, with test No. 4; all systems functioned normally. Test No. 5, the planned repetition of test No. 2, brought developmental sled testing to an end on February 7.

1963 June 24 - .
  • North American began a series of five drop tests, using a boilerplate test vehicle, to qualify the parachute recovery system for the full-scale test vehicle in the Paraglider Landing System Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. The reoriented paraglider program had begun with two successful bomb-drop tests of the parachute recovery system on May 22 and June 3. The first boilerplate drop test saw both the main parachute and the boilerplate suffer minor damage; but boilerplate drops No. 2 (July 2), No. 3 (July 12), and No. 4 (July 18) were successful. A series of malfunctions in the fifth drop test on July 30 produced a complete failure of the recovery system, and the test vehicle was destroyed on impact. North American considered the objectives of the flight qualification program on the parachute system to have been met, despite this failure, and requested, since the boilerplate vehicle had been damaged beyond repair, that the parachute program be considered complete. Manned Spacecraft Center denied this request and, in Change Notice No. 3 to contract NAS 9-1484, directed North American to support McDonnell in conducting two further drop tests. Wind tunnel tests on a 1/20-scale spacecraft model isolated the source of trouble, and the modified parachute recovery system was successfully tested with a new boilerplate test vehicle on November 12. Results from this test were confirmed by a second drop test on December 3, and the parachute recovery system for the full-scale test vehicle was judged and fully qualified.

1963 June 24 - .
  • Arnold Engineering Development Center conducted a retrorocket abort test. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Although test objectives were met, failures in the nozzle assembly and cone of the retrorocket led to the redesign of the nozzle assembly. Another abort test was scheduled for October 1963 to verify the redesign..

1963 June 27 - .
  • Launching azimuth of the first Gemini mission had been changed from 90 to 72.5 degrees to obtain better tracking network coverage. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Charles W Mathews, Acting Manager of Gemini Project Office, reported to the Gemini Management Panel that the launching azimuth of the first Gemini mission had been changed from 90 to 72.5 degrees (the same as the Mercury orbital launches) to obtain better tracking network coverage. The spacecraft would be a complete production shell, including shingles and heatshield, equipped with a simulated computer, inertial measuring unit, and environmental control system in the reentry module. Simulated equipment would also be carried in the adapter section. The spacecraft would carry instruments to record pressures, vibrations, temperatures, and accelerations.

1963 June 28 - .
  • Capability of a delayed Gemini launch to meet successive launch windows during rendezvous missions. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. At a meeting on spacecraft operations, McDonnell presented a 'scrub' recycle schedule as part of a continuing investigation of the capability of a delayed Gemini launch to meet successive launch windows during rendezvous missions. With no change in either existing aerospace ground equipment or the spacecraft, the recycle time was 48 hours (an earlier estimate had been 24 1/2 hours) for a trouble-free recycle. Gemini Project Office wanted to recycle time reduced to 24 hours and ultimately to something less than 19 hours to meet successive launch windows, possibly by replacing fuel cells with batteries for rendezvous missions only.

1963 July 5 - .
  • The first engineering prototype inertial guidance system underwent integration and compatibility testing with a complete guidance and control system at McDonnell. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. Summary: All spacecraft wiring was found to be compatible with the computer, and the component operated with complete accuracy..

1963 July 8 - .
  • McDonnell warned Gemini Project Office that the capacity of the spacecraft computer was in danger of being exceeded. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. The original function of the computer had been limited to providing rendezvous and reentry guidance. Other functions were subsequently added, and the computer's spare capacity no longer appeared adequate to handle all of them. McDonnell requested an immediate review of computer requirements. In the meantime, it advised International Business Machines to delete one of the added functions, orbital navigation, from computers for spacecraft Nos. 2 and 3.

1963 July 12 - .
  • Contract let to International Business Machines for the realtime computer complex at MSC's MCC - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC signed a definitive contract, valued at $36.2 million, with International Business Machines (IBM) for the realtime computer complex in the MSC Mission Control Center. IBM was responsible for the design of the computer center, mission and mathematical analyses, programming equipment engineering, computer and program testing, maintenance and operation, and documentation. The complex, consisting of four IBM 7094 computers with their associated equipment, would monitor and analyze data from Gemini and Apollo missions.

1963 July 18 - .
  • In support of the Paraglider Landing System Program, Ames Research Center began wind tunnel tests of a half-scale paraglider test vehicle. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Principle objectives of these tests were to obtain data on the longitudinal aerodynamic characteristics, lateral aerodynamic stability characteristics, and the static deployment characteristics of the new low-lobe wing which North American and NASA had jointly agreed on. The new configuration was expected to present lateral stability problems. This series of tests ended August 8.

1963 July 20 - .
  • Gemini Project Office reported that the fuel cell development had slipped, although the amount of slippage had not been completely estimated. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Summary: Causes of the slippage had been rejection of vendor parts, extension of vendor delivery schedules, and lack of early determination of production procedures..

1963 August 1 - .
  • Design Engineering Inspection of the full-scale test vehicle for the Paraglider Landing System Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. A Design Engineering Inspection of the full-scale test vehicle (FSTV), with associated wing and hardware, for the Paraglider Landing System Program was held at North American's Space and Information Systems Division. This was the first such inspection under the new paraglider contract, NAS 9-1484. Under this contract, the two FSTVs were to be used solely to develop systems and techniques for wing deployment. As originally conceived, they were also to provide the means of evaluating flight performance and control characteristics during glide; but this objective was dropped to minimize cost and to simplify vehicle systems. The inspection resulted in 30 requests for alterations, most of them mandatory.

1963 August 5 - .
  • The new flight crew members and two of the Mercury astronauts began a five-day desert survival course at Stead Air Force Base, Nevada. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. The course, oriented toward Gemini missions, was divided into three phases: (1) one and one-half days of academic presentations on characteristics of world desert areas and survival techniques; (2) one day of field demonstrations on use and care of survival equipment and use of the parachute in construction of clothing, shelters, and signals; and (3) two days of remote site training, when two-man teams were left alone in the desert to apply what they had learned from the academic and demonstration phases of the program.

1963 August 8 - .
  • Qualification testing of the Gemini parachute recovery system resumed over the Salton Sea Range, California, following a month's delay occasioned by resolving the parachute tucking problem. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. This test, the sixth in the qualification series, and the seventh (August 20) differed from the first five only in being water-impact rather than land-impact tests. They successfully demonstrated water-impact accelerations low enough to make water landing safe. Further qualification testing was suspended on September 3 by the decision to incorporate a high-altitude stabilization parachute in the recovery system.

1963 August 20 - .
  • Rocketdyne began a series of tests to verify its new thrust chamber assembly (TCA) design for the reentry control system (RCS) and the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS). - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. The test plan called for each type TCA, 25-pound RCS, 25-, 85-, and 100-pound OAMS, to be tested to mission duty cycle, steady state life, limited environmental exposure, and performance. Rocketdyne submitted its design verification test schedule to McDonnell and Gemini Project Office on August 27, with seven of the 16 tests already completed. The remaining nine tests were to be finished by September 10. This proved an optimistic estimate; design verification testing was not completed until October.

1963 August 24 - .
  • McDonnell reported that spacecraft No. 2 was roughly one month behind schedule, primarily because of late deliveries of onboard systems from the vendors. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Critical items were orbit attitude and maneuver system, reentry control system, fuel cells, and cryogenic storage tanks. Several systems had failed to pass vibration qualification and required modification. The Development Engineering Inspection of the spacecraft was scheduled for October 1963, but further delays postponed it until February 12-13, 1964.

1963 August 31 - .
  • Gemini Project Office reported that systems testing of the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) and reentry control system (RCS) was scheduled to be resumed early in October. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Systems tests had begun in August 1962 but had been brought to a halt by the unavailability of thrust chambers. Three categories of systems tests were planned: (1) Research and Development Tests, comprising gas calibrations, aerospace ground equipment, evaluation, surge pressure evaluations, pulse interactions, steady-state evaluations, and vacuum soak tests; (2) Design Information Tests, comprising extreme operating condition evaluations, a group of fill-drain-decontamination-storage tests, pulse performance, skin heating, expulsion efficiency, liquid calibration, manual regulation, and propellant gauging; and (3) Design Approval Tests, comprising acceleration testing, RCS mission duty cycle tests at ambient temperature, OAMS two-day mission duty cycle tests at ambient temperature, and OAMS 14-day mission duty cycle tests at ambient temperature. Systems testing did not actually resume until May 1964.

1963 August 31 - .
  • Gemini Project Office reported that the first production computer was in its final factory testing phase and would be ready for inertial guidance system integration testing on September 6, 1963. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System.

1963 August 31 - .
  • Parasail and landing rocket system considered to enable the Gemini spacecraft to make land landings. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. Gemini Project Office (GPO) reported that it was investigating the use of a parasail and landing rocket system to enable the Gemini spacecraft to make land landings. Major system components were the parasail, drogue parachute, retrorocket, control system, and landing rocket. Unlike the conventional parachute, the parasail was capable of controlled gliding and turning. Landing rockets, fired just before touchdown, reduced the spacecraft terminate rate of descent to between 8 and 11 feet per second. Research and development testing was being conducted by the Landing and Impact System Section of Systems Evaluation and Development Division at Manned Spacecraft Center, while McDonnell had just completed a limited study of the advantages and disadvantages, including time required, of incorporating the new landing system on the spacecraft. GPO briefed NASA Headquarters on the system September 6, when it was decided that no further action would be taken on the parasail.

1963 September 3 - .
  • Gemini Project Office (GPO) suspended qualification testing of the parachute recovery system. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS; Gemini Parachute. This was to permit incorporating a drogue parachute in the system as a means of stabilizing the spacecraft during the last phase of reentry, at altitudes between 50,000 and 10,000 feet. This function had originally been intended for the reentry control system (RCS), currently suffering from serious development problems. The revised design would also permit RCS propellants to be dumped before deploying the main recovery parachute. GPO outlined a three-phase drop test program to develop the drogue chute and qualify the revised recovery system. Phase I, scheduled for January and February 1964 and using boilerplate No. 5, as a test vehicle, would develop the technique of deploying the pilot parachute by the stabilization chute. The deployment sequence was planned to begin with deployment of the stabilization chute at 50,000 feet. At 10,600 feet, the astronaut would release the stabilization chute. A lanyard connecting the stabilization and pilot chutes would then deploy the pilot chute. Two and one-half seconds later, the rendezvous and recovery (R and R) section would separate from the spacecraft, allowing the main chute to deploy. Phase II of the drop test program, scheduled for March through August 1964 and using a parachute test vehicle (an instrumented weight bomb), would complete development of the stabilization chute. From June through October 1964, Phase III tests would qualify the recovery system, using static article No. 7, a boilerplate pressure vessel and heatshield equipped with production RCS and R and R sections. Since this program was not expected to be finished before the third Gemini mission, qualification of the existing system was to be completed with three more drops in February and March 1964. Static article No. 7 would serve as the test vehicle before being diverted to Phase III testing.

1963 September 4 - .
  • Representatives of Manned Spacecraft Center's Instrumentation and Electronics Systems Division and McDonnell met to coordinate the Gemini radar program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Summary: Gemini Project Office had requested an increased effort to put the rendezvous radar system in operational status..

1963 September 6 - .
  • 72-hour lifetime for Apollo recovery aids - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC Flight Operations Division (FOD) established a 72-hour lifetime for Apollo recovery aids. This limitation was derived from considerations of possible landing footprints, staging bases, and aircraft range and flying time to the landing areas. Primary location aids were the spacecraft equipment (VHF AM transceiver, VHF recovery beacon, and HE transceiver) and the VHF survival radio. Because of battery limitations, current planning called for only a 24-hour usage of the VHF recovery beacon. If electronic aids were needed beyond this time the VHF survival radio would be used. If the spacecraft were damaged or lost, the VHF survival radio would be the only electronic location aid available. MSC had recently selected the Sperry Phoenix Company to produce the Gemini VHF survival radio, which was expected to meet the Apollo requirements. FOD recommended that the current contract with Sperry Phoenix be extended to provide the units needed for Apollo missions.

1963 September 8 - .
  • The 16 astronauts began training in water and land parachute landing techniques. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. This training was necessary because in low level abort (under 70,000 feet) the pilot would be ejected from the spacecraft and would descend by personnel parachute. A towed 24-foot diameter parasail carried the astronauts to altitudes as high as 400 feet before the towline was released and the astronaut glided to a landing.

1963 September 11-12 - .
  • Gemini rendezvous radar system be brought to operational status. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Following up Gemini Project Office's request to bring the Gemini rendezvous radar system to operational status, Manned Spacecraft Center Instrumentation and Electronics System Division personnel met with Westinghouse at Baltimore to review the test program. Westinghouse had completed its radio frequency anechoic chamber test, but test anomalies could not be pinpointed to the radar system, since chamber reflections might have been responsible. An outdoor range test was planned to determine whether the chamber was suitable for testing the radar.

1963 September 12 - .
  • Gemini, Apollo, and X-20 studied for military space missions. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Dynasoar; MOL; Gemini; Apollo CSM. The President's Scientific Advisory Committee requested a briefing from the Air Force on possible military space missions, biomedical experiments to be performed in space, and the capability of Gemini, Apollo, and the X-20 vehicles to execute these requirements.

1963 September 23 - .
  • A technical development plan for Department of Defense experiments to be carried on Gemini missions was issued. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. The plan described 13 Air Force experiments and nine Navy experiments costing an estimated $22 million. Manned Spacecraft Center reviewed the experiments for feasibility while the plan was being prepared, but their inclusion on Gemini flights was tentative, pending further technical definition of the experiments themselves and clarification of spacecraft weight and volume constraints.

1963 September 27 - .
  • Development Engineering Inspection of the tow test vehicle for the Paraglider Landing System Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. A Development Engineering Inspection of the tow test vehicle (TTV), its associated wings, hardware, and mock-up, for the Paraglider Landing System Program was held at North American's Space and Information Systems Division. The TTVs (the contract called for two) were manned vehicles to be flown with the wing predeployed to evaluate flight performance and control with particular emphasis on the landing maneuvers. The inspection resulted in 33 requests for alteration, 24 of them mandatory.

1963 September 27 - .
  • North American stopped its effort to retrofit the full-scale test vehicle (FSTV) to Gemini prototype paraglider deployment hardware. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. The contract for the Paraglider Landing System Program had provided for North American to incorporate Gemini equipment, insofar as possible, in the FSTV as it became available - this was the so-called retrofit. The decision to stop work on retrofit was made at a conference between North American and NASA on September 26; retrofit was deleted as a contract requirement on November 7 by Change Notice No. 5 to Contract NAS 9-1484.

1963 October 1 - .
  • Gemini configuration for using batteries in all spacecraft scheduled for two-day rendezvous missions. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Gemini Project office (GPO) requested McDonnell to do a design study of the requirements and configuration necessary for using batteries instead of fuel cells in all spacecraft scheduled for two-day rendezvous missions. Personnel from GPO had visited General Electric to review the results of experiments conducted to determine the theoretical operating life of the fuel cells to power the Gemini spacecraft. Tests results showed a life of about 600 hours, but changes in the spacecraft coolant system increased the fuel cell operating temperatures and reduced fuel cell life by about two-thirds. The theoretical life of the cells was between 150 and 250 hours; until some method of increasing the operating life of the fuel cell could be achieved, the development program would remain a problem.

1963 October 4 - .
  • Gemini spacecraft No. 1 arrived at Atlantic Missile Range and was transferred to Hangar AF. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. After a receiving inspection (October 7) and Voltage Standing Wave Ratio Test (October 8), its instrument pallets were removed for laboratory test and checkout (October 9) while the spacecraft was being checked out, weighed, and balanced. Instrument pallets were reinstalled November 26. Individual and integrated communications, instrumentation, and environmental control systems were then performed. Final industrial area testing of the spacecraft concluded with a confidence level test on February 12, 1964.

1963 October 14 - .
  • North American completed work on the first full-scale prototype paraglider wing for the Paraglider Landing System Program and shipped it to Ames Research Center for wind tunnel tests. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Test objectives were to determine the longitudinal aerodynamic characteristics, structural deflections, and spreader bar buckling limits of the full-scale wing. Testing ended October 28 but yielded very limited data. As a result, a second test of the full-scale wing was conducted from December 4 to December 9; this time all test objectives were met.

1963 October 14 - .
  • The Mission Planning Coordination Group discussed the feasibility of rendezvous at first apogee, as proposed by Richard R Carley of the Gemini Project Office. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: The group concluded that developing the ability to rendezvous at first apogee as a test objective and that capability for performing the maneuver should be provided in the mission plan for all rendezvous flights..

1963 October 18 - .
  • Selection of 14 astronauts for Projects Gemini and Apollo - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin; Anders; Bassett; Bean; Cernan; Chaffee; Collins; Cunningham; Eisele; Freeman; Gordon; Schweickart; Scott; Williams, Clifton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA announced the selection of 14 astronauts for Projects Gemini and Apollo, bringing to 30 the total number of American spacemen. They were Maj. Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Capt. William A. Anders, Capt. Charles A. Bassett II, Capt. Michael Collins, Capt. Donn F. Eisele, Capt. Theodore C. Freeman, and Capt. David R. Scott of the Air Force; Lt. Cdr. Richard F. Gordon, Jr., Lt. Alan L. Bean, Lt. Eugene A. Cernan, and Lt. Roger B. Chaffee of the Navy; Capt. Clifton C. Williams, Jr., of the Marine Corps; R. Walter Cunningham, research scientist for the Rand Corporation; and Russell L. Schweickart, research scientist for MIT.

1963 October 21 - .
  • Rocketdyne test-fired an orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) 85-pound thruster to a new mission duty cycle requiring 550 seconds of normal operation and 750 seconds before catastrophic failure. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. In noting McDonnell's reevaluation of the OAMS mission duty cycles, which imposed increased life requirements on OAMS thrust chamber assemblies (TCA), Gemini Project Office pointed out that this change compounded the TCA problem: the current (and briefer) mission duty cycles had yet to be demonstrated under specification conditions on the 25-pound and 100-pound TCAs. During the next two months, Rocketdyne stopped testing and concentrated on analyzing the performance characteristics of small ablative rocket engines, while McDonnell completed revising of duty cycles. Representatives of NASA, McDonnell, and Rocketdyne met in January 1964 to clarify the new life requirements for OAMS engines, which were significantly higher: required life of the 25-pound OAMS thruster in pulse operation was raised from 232.5 seconds to 557 seconds; that of the 85- and 100-pound thrusters, from 288.5 to 757 seconds.

1963 October 25 - .
  • North American finished modifying the Advanced Paraglider Trainer to a full scale tow test vehicle (TTV), as required by the Paraglider Landing System Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. The vehicle was then shipped to Edwards Air Force Base, where ground tow tests began on December 28. Preliminary ground tow testing was completed on January 14, 1964. The second TTV was completed on January 28 and shipped to Edwards on February 14. Further ground tow tests were conducted through June. Installation of flightworthy control system hardware began in April.

1963 October 30 - .
  • A meeting was held to discuss ejection seat system problems. Of major concern was the ejection seat ballute that was planned to stabilize the astronaut after he ejected and separated from the seat. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. Wind tunnel test data had suggested two problem areas: the ballute was failing at supersonic speeds and was not opening at subsonic speeds. Increasing the diameter and lengthening the riser lines improved performance considerably. A major system change recommended at the meeting was the incorporation of provisions for automatic separation of the seat backboard and egress kit before touchdown; Gemini Project Office directed McDonnell to study the feasibility of this recommendation.

1963 November 5 - .
  • Reorganization of MSC - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Faget; Kraft; Shea; Slayton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth announced a reorganization of MSC to strengthen the management of the Apollo and Gemini programs. Under Gilruth and Deputy Director James C. Elms, there were now four Assistant Directors, Managers for both the Gemini and Apollo programs, and a Manager for MSC's Florida Operations. Assigned to these positions were:

    Maxime A. Faget, Assistant Director for Engineering and Development Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., Assistant Director for Flight Operations Donald K. Slayton, Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations Wesley L. Hjornevik, Assistant Director for Administration Joseph F. Shea, Manager, Apollo Spacecraft Program Office Charles W. Mathews, Manager, Gemini Program Office and G. Merritt Preston, Manager, MSC Florida Operations.


1963 November 12 - .
  • Delays in the fuel cell development program prompted Gemini Project Office to direct McDonnell to modify the electrical system for spacecraft No. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 3. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Summary: 3 so that either fuel cells or a silver-zinc battery power system could be installed after the spacecraft had been delivered to the Cape. A contract change incorporating this directive was issued January 20, 1964..

1963 November 14 - .
  • Drop-test program of paraglider half-scale tow test vehicle. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) began a drop-test program over Galveston Bay using a helicopter-towed paraglider half-scale tow test vehicle to investigate trim conditions and stability characteristics indifferent deployment configurations. The first drop successfully tested the U-shaped deployment configuration. The second test (November 19) was abortive, but damage was slight. The third test (November 26) was also abortive, and the wing was damaged beyond repair on impact. MSC procured another wing from North American and conducted a fourth test, partially successful, on December 19. No further tests were conducted.

1963 November 15 - .
  • The first production version of the inertial guidance system developed for Gemini was delivered to McDonnell. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. Summary: Special tests on the configuration test unit, using spacecraft No. 2 guidance and control equipment, were expected to be completed in January 1964..

1963 November 22 - .
  • A series of 24 test drops to develop the ballute stabilization system for the Gemini escape system began with a live jump over El Centro. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Five more live jumps and four dummy drops, the last two on January 9, 1964, all used a ballute three feet in diameter. Excessive rates of rotation dictated increasing ballute diameter and substituting two-point for single-point suspension. Between January 14 and February 4, 14 more tests (12 human and two dummy) were conducted at altitudes from 12,500 to 35,000 feet using ballutes 42 and 48 inches in diameter. These tests established a 48-inch diameter as the optimum configuration for the Gemini ballute, and Gemini Project Office directed McDonnell to use this size in the coming qualification drop test program. Qualification of the ballute was also to include a structural test program to be conducted in the wind tunnel at Arnold Engineering Development Center.

1963 November 30 - .
  • Gemini Project Office (GPO) reported the results of a survey of testing being done at Rocketdyne on the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS). - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. The research and development phase of testing OAMS components appeared likely to extend well into 1964, with the development of an adequate thrust chamber assembly (TCA) continuing as the major problem. Hardware availability remained uncertain, no definite method of resolving the TCA life problem had yet been selected, and McDonnell's current revision of mission duty cycles compounded the problem. Lack of hardware was also delaying system testing, which would be completed no sooner than the second quarter of 1964. Persistent delays in the research and development test program were in turn responsible for serious delays in the qualification test program. To meet the manned Gemini launch scheduled for 1964, GPO was considering the possibility of beginning qualification tests before development testing had been completed.

1963 December 9 - .
  • McDonnell delivered Gemini boilerplate No. 201, an egress trainer, to Houston. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Preparations began for egress tests in a water tank at Ellington Air Force Base, Texas, in January 1964..

1963 December 20 - .
  • McDonnell shipped its portion of Gemini mission simulator No. 1 to Cape Kennedy. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: The computers for the training device were expected by mid January 1964..

1963 December 21 - .
  • Gemini Project Office (GPO) reported that a silver-zinc battery power system would be flown in spacecraft 3. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 3. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Gemini Project Office (GPO) reported that a silver-zinc battery power system would be flown in spacecraft No. 3 instead of a fuel cell system, which could not be qualified in time for the mission. Late in January, 1964, McDonnell reviewed for GPO the status of the fuel cell program and discussed the design of an improved fuel cell into spacecraft No. 5 and to delete fuel cells from spacecraft Nos. 3 and 4, substituting the battery power system.

1963 December 21 - .
  • Gemini Project Office reported that McDonnell, as a result of a flammability test that it had conducted, would incorporate teflon-insulated wiring throughout the spacecraft. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: This modification would be initiated as early as possible..

1963 December 23 - .
  • Persistent problems in the development of engines for the Gemini orbit attitude and maneuver system prompted a review by the management of Manned Spacecraft Center. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. After discussion three decisions were reached. The possibility for further reducing the oxidizer to fuel ratio (currently 1.3:1) while still maintaining stable combustion and good starting characteristics was to be investigated. Lowering this ratio would reduce operating temperatures and enhance engine life. Another investigation was to be conducted to determine the feasibility of realigning the lateral-firing thrusters more closely with the spacecraft center of gravity. Such a realignment would reduce the demand placed on the 25-pound thrusters (which had yet to demonstrate a complete mission duty cycle operation without failure) in maintaining spacecraft attitude during lateral maneuvers. The third decision was to build an engine billet with ablation material laminates oriented approximately parallel to the motor housing. A recently developed parallel laminate material in its initial tests promised to resolve the problem of obtaining the thrusters' full operational duty cycle.

1964 January 1 - . LV Family: Atlas; Titan.
  • NASA Headquarters directed Gemini Project Office to take the radar and rendezvous evaluation pod out of Gemini-Titan (GT) missions 3 and 4. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 4; Gemini 5. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar; Gemini REP. Summary: GT-4 would be a battery-powered long-duration flight. The pod would go on GT-5, and thus the first planned Agena flight would probably slip in the schedule..

1964 January 15 - .
  • Phase I of the program to develop a drogue stabilization parachute for the Gemini parachute recovery system began with a successful test drop of boilerplate spacecraft No. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. 5 at El Centro. Phase I was aimed at determining the effects of deploying the pilot chute by a lanyard attached to the drogue chute. The second drop test, on January 28, was also successful, but in the third test, on February 6, the cables connecting the drogue-and-pilot-chute combination to the rendezvous and recovery (R and R) section of the boilerplate failed during pilot-chute deployment. Although the main chute deployed adequately to achieve a normal boilerplate landing, the R and R section was badly damaged when it hit the ground. Testing was temporarily suspended while McDonnell analyzed the cause of the failure. Testing resumed on April 10 with the fourth drop test, and Phase I was successfully concluded on April 21 with the fifth and final drop. Boilerplate No. 5 then returned to McDonnell, where it was converted into static article No. 4A by September 18 for use in Phase III tests.

1964 January 22 - .
  • North American began deployment flights of the full-scale test vehicle for the Paraglider Landing System Program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute; Gemini Paraglide. The contract called for 20 tests to demonstrate deployment of the full-scale wing from the rendezvous and recovery can, followed by glide and radio-controlled maneuvering; each test was to be terminated by release of the wing and recovery by the emergency parachute system (which had been qualified on December 3, 1963). Additional Details: here....

1964 January 25 - .
  • Rocketdyne tested an orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) 100-pound thrust chamber assembly (TCA) to the 757-second mission duty cycle without failure. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. The TCA incorporated a modified injector which sprayed about 25 percent of the fuel down the wall of the chamber before burning, a technique known as boundary-layer cooling. With an oxidizer to fuel ratio of 1.2:1, the ablative material in the chamber was charred to a depth of only 0.5 inch. A second TCA, tested under the same conditions, charred to 0.55 inch. The flight-weight engine contained ablative material 1.03 inches thick, indicating that this engine configuration provided an ample margin for meeting mission requirements. These test results encouraged Gemini Project Office (GPO) to believe that boundary-layer cooling answered the problem of obtaining life requirements for the OAMS 100-pound TCAs. The same technique was also tried with the 25-pound TCA, but boundary-layer cooling was much less successful in the smaller engine; a modified rounded-edge, splash-plate injector yielded better results. This configuration was tested to the 570-second mission duty cycle using a mixture ratio of 0.7:1; at the end of the test, 0.18 inch uncharred material was left. Earlier TCAs using the same mixture ratio had failed after a maximum of 380 seconds. GPO now expected both 25- and 100-pound TCAs to be ready for installation in spacecraft 5 and up.

1964 January 25 - .
  • Gemini visual reentry control simulator program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Gemini Project Office reported that Ames Research Center had conducted a visual reentry control simulator program to evaluate the feasibility of controlling the spacecraft attitude during reentry by using the horizon as the only visual reference. Simulation confirmed previous analytical studies and showed that the reentry attitude control, using the horizon view alone, was well within astronaut capabilities.

1964 February 1 - .
  • McDonnell began spacecraft pyrotechnic hatch firing tests, using boilerplate No. 3A, with a single-hatch firing test. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. The hatch opened and locked, but opening time was 350 milliseconds, 50 milliseconds over the allowable time. This test was followed, on February 10, by a dual-hatch firing test with satisfactory results. The boilerplate spacecraft was prepared for shipment to Weber Aircraft to be used in the qualification program of the ejection seat system.

1964 February 3 - .
1964 February 7 - .
  • Gemini and Apollo food and survival equipment - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: During a meeting at MSC, North American and MSC Crew Systems Division agreed that there should be a central authority with total cognizance over Gemini and Apollo food and survival equipment, and that all this equipment should be government furnished..

1964 February 20 - .
  • All 12 Gemini flights to end in water landings. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Mueller. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. George E. Mueller, NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight, informed the staff of the Gemini Project Office (GPO) that all 12 Gemini flights would end in water landings, although Project Gemini Quarterly Report No. 8 for the period ending February 29, 1964, still listed the paraglider for the last three Gemini missions. Additional Details: here....

1964 February 29 - .
  • Gemini Project Office (GPO) reported the results of a test program to determine the possible effects of cracked throats or liners on the orbit attitude and maneuver system thrusters. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Because of the manufacturing process, almost all thrust chamber assemblies (TCA) had such cracks and consequently could not be delivered. The tests showed no apparent degradation of engine life caused by cracks, and Rocketdyne claimed that no TCA in any of their five space engine programs had failed because of a cracked throat. With certain restrictions, cracked throats were to be accepted. GPO expected this problem to be reduced or eliminated in the new boundary-layer cooled TCAs, the throats of which had appeared in good condition after testing.

1964 March 23 - .
  • Apollo-type experiments to be included into the Gemini program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Members of the Gemini Flights Experiments Review Panel discussed procedures for incorporating Apollo-type experiments into the Gemini program, experiments that directly supported the three-man space program. These experiments encompassed crew observations, photography, and photometry.

1964 March 25 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • Gemini mission plans for the first Agena rendezvous flight. - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. At a meeting of the Gemini Project Office's Trajectories and Orbits Panel, members of Flight Operations Division described two mission plans currently under consideration for the first Agena rendezvous flight. One was based on the concept of tangential Agena and spacecraft orbits, as proposed by Howard W. Tindall, Jr., and James T. Rose when they were members of Space Task Group. The second plan, based on a proposal by Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., then of Air Force Space Systems Division, involved orbits which were concentric rather than tangential. The most significant advantage of the second plan was that it provided the greatest utilization of onboard backup techniques; that is, it was specifically designed to make optimum use of remaining onboard systems in the event of failure in the inertial guidance system platform, computer, or radar.

1964 March 26 - .
  • Boilerplate spacecraft No. 4 was subjected to its first drop from a test rig. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. The boilerplate achieved a horizontal velocity of 60 feet per second and a vertical velocity of about 40 feet per second at the time of impact with the water. The test was conducted to obtain data on landing accelerations for various speeds and attitudes of the spacecraft.

1964 March 28 - .
  • Gemini Project Office reported the results of a potability test. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Summary: Gemini Project Office reported the results of the potability test of water from the fuel cells to be used on spacecraft No. 2. Although slightly acidic, the water was deemed suitable for drinking. .

1964 April 2 - .
  • A 36-hour open-sea qualification test, using static article No. 5, began in Galveston Bay. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: The test ended after two hours when the test subjects became seasick. Among the technical problems encountered during this two-hour exposure were the failure of one of the suit ventilation fans and structural failure of the high-frequency whip antenna..

1964 April 8 - . 16:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-1 / 62-12556.
  • Gemini 1 - . Payload: Gemini SC1. Mass: 3,187 kg (7,026 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Gemini. Decay Date: 1964-04-12 . USAF Sat Cat: 782 . COSPAR: 1964-018A. Apogee: 299 km (185 mi). Perigee: 154 km (95 mi). Inclination: 32.6000 deg. Period: 89.00 min. The first Gemini mission, Gemini-Titan I, was launched from Complex 19 at Cape Kennedy at 11:00 a.m., e.s.t. This was an unmanned flight, using the first production Gemini spacecraft and a modified Titan II Gemini launch vehicle (GLV). The mission's primary purpose was to verify the structural integrity of the GLV and spacecraft, as well as to demonstrate the GLV's ability to place the spacecraft into a prescribed earth orbit. Mission plans did not include separation of the spacecraft from the second stage of the vehicle, and both were inserted into orbit as a unit six minutes after launch. The planned mission encompassed only the first three orbits and ended about four hours and 50 minutes after liftoff. No recovery was planned for this mission, but Goddard continued to track the spacecraft until it reentered the atmosphere on the 64th orbital pass over the southern Atlantic Ocean (April 12) and disintegrated. The flight qualified the GLV and its systems and the structure of the spacecraft.

1964 April 9 - .
  • Phase II of the program to incorporate a drogue stabilization chute in the parachute recovery system began at El Centro. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. The purpose of Phase II was to develop the stabilization chute and determine its reefing parameters. The first test in the series, which used a weighted, instrumented, bomb-shaped parachute test vehicle (PTV), experienced several malfunctions culminating in the loss of all parachutes and the destruction of the PTV when it hit the ground. Subsequent analysis failed to isolate the precise cause of the malfunctions. No useful data were obtained from the second drop, on May 5, when an emergency drag chute inadvertently deployed and prevented the PTV from achieving proper test conditions. Subsequent tests, however, were largely successful, and Phase II ended on November 19 with the 15th drop in the PTV series. This completed developmental testing of the parachute recovery system drogue configuration; qualification tests began December 17.

1964 April 9 - .
  • Structural qualification testing of the ballute stabilization system was completed in the wind tunnel at Arnold Engineering Development Center. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. Two subsonic and four supersonic runs at design conditions and two ultimate runs at 150 percent of design maximum dynamic pressure showed the four-foot ballute to be fully satisfactory as a stabilization device. Final qualification of the ballute was completed as part of a personnel parachute, high-altitude, drop test program which began in January 1965.

1964 April 9 - .
  • Test program to determine the heat level on the base of the Gemini spacecraft during .abort conditions. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Arnold Engineering Development Center conducted a test program to determine the heat level on the base of the Gemini spacecraft during firing of the retrorockets under abort conditions from altitudes of 150,000 feet and up. Preliminary evaluation indicated that no base heating problem existed.

1964 April 24 - .
  • Apollo scientific experiments program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: The NASA Manned Space Science Division was planning a scientific experiments program for manned and unmanned earth orbital flights. The manned program would be a direct outgrowth of the Gemini experiments program..

1964 April 29 - .
  • Gemini Pecan Mission. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini Pecan; Gemini. C. Howard Robins, Jr., and others in the MSC Advanced Spacecraft Technology Division investigated the suitability of and formulated a tentative mission flight plan for using a Gemini spacecraft to link up with an orbiting vehicle to achieve a long-duration space mission (dubbed the 'Pecan' mission). The two crewmen were to transfer to the Pecan for the duration of the mission. As with similar investigations for the application of Apollo hardware, the scheme postulated by Robins and his colleagues emphasized maximum use of existing and planned hardware, facilities, and operational techniques.

1964 April 30 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • First Agena D for the Gemini program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 12. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD) accepted the first Agena D (AD-71) for the Gemini program. The Agena D was a production-line vehicle procured from Lockheed by SSD for NASA through routine procedures. Following minor retrofit operations, the vehicle, now designated Gemini Agena target vehicle 5001, entered the manufacturing final assembly area at the Lockheed plant on May 14. There began the conversion of the Agena D into a target vehicle for Gemini rendezvous missions. Major modifications were installation of a target docking adapter (supplied by McDonnell), an auxiliary equipment rack, external status displays, a secondary propulsion system, and an L-band tracking radar.

1964 May 1 - .
  • The spacecraft computer formal qualification unit completed Predelivery Acceptance Tests (PDA) and was delivered to McDonnell. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 3. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. The flight unit for spacecraft No. 2 was delivered during the first week in May. Later in the month, a complete inrtial guidance system formal integration PDA was completed on spacecraft No. 2 (May 22). The spacecraft No. 3 flight unit completed PDA on June 6.

1964 May 5-7 - .
  • Rough water suitability tests with Gemini boilerplate spacecraft in the Gulf of Mexico. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Manned Spacecraft Center's Landing and Recovery Division conducted rough water suitability tests with Gemini boilerplate spacecraft in the Gulf of Mexico. Sea conditions during the tests were 4 to 8 foot waves and 20 to 25 knot surface winds. Tests were conducted with the flotation collar which had been air-dropped. Egress from the spacecraft on the water was carried out and the survival kit recovery beacon was exercised. The tests of the dye marker produced a water pattern that was not completely satisfactory. The flotation collar endured the rough seas quite well.

1964 May 5 - .
  • First of a series of three tests to complete the qualification of the Gemini parachute recovery system. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. Summary: The first of a series of three tests, using static article No. 7, to complete the qualification of the Gemini parachute recovery system for spacecraft No. 2 was conducted at El Centro. T. Additional Details: here....

1964 May 29 - .
  • Gemini spacecraft No. 3 began Phase I modular Spacecraft Systems Tests (SST) at McDonnell under the direction of the Launch Preparation Group. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 3. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. The Development Engineering Inspection of the spacecraft was held June 9-10. The new rendezvous and recovery section, incorporating the high-altitude drogue parachute, was installed and checked out during July and August. Modular SST and preparations for Phase II mated SST were completed September 12.

1964 May 31 - .
  • Gemini orbit attitude and maneuver system thrust chamber assembly designs frozen. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 5; Gemini 6. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Gemini Program Office (GPO), encouraged by several highly successful tests, reported that all orbit attitude and maneuver system thrust chamber assembly (TCA) designs had been frozen. A 25-pound TCA tested to the 578-second mission duty cycle was still performing within specification requirements after more than 2100 seconds with a maximum skin temperature of 375 degrees F. Additional Details: here....

1964 June 4 - .
  • Dynamic qualification testing of the Gemini ejection seat began with sled test No. 6 at China Lake. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. This was a preliminary test to prove that hatches and hatch actuators would function properly under abort conditions; no ejection was attempted. The test was successful, and qualification testing proper began on July 1 with test No. 7. The test simulated conditions of maximum dynamic pressure following an abort from the powered phase of Gemini flight, the vehicle being positioned heatshield forward as in reentry. Both seats ejected and all systems functioned as designed. Further sled testing was delayed by slow delivery of pyrotechnics; sled test No. 8 was not run until November 5. This test revealed a structural deficiency in the ejection seat. When the feet of one of the dummies came out of the stirrups, the seat pitched over and yawed to the left, overloading the left side panel. The panel broke off, interrupting the sequence of the ejection system, and the seat and dummy never separated; both seat and dummy were destroyed when they hit the ground. Representatives of Manned Spacecraft Center and McDonnell met during the week of November 15 to consider revising the test program as a result of this failure. They decided to conduct test No. 9 under conditions approximating the most severe for which the ejection system was designed, in order to demonstrate the adequacy of the reworked seat structure. Test No. 9 was run on December 11, successfully demonstrating the entire ejection sequence and confirming the structural redesign. This brought the qualification sled test program to an end.

1964 June 12 - .
  • Gemini personnel recovery system reliability demonstration. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection; Gemini Paraglide. Representatives of NASA, McDonnell, Weber Aircraft, and Air Force 6511th Test Group met to define the basic objectives of a program to demonstrate the functional reliability of the Gemini personnel recovery system under simulated operational conditions. Such a program had been suggested at a coordination meeting on the ejection seat system on October 30, 1963. The planned program called for the recovery system to be ejected from an F-106 aircraft, beginning with a static ground test in September, to demonstrate compatibility between the recovery system and the aircraft. Two full system tests, using a production configuration recovery system, would complete the program in about a month. The program was delayed by the unavailability of pyrotechnics. The static ground test was successfully conducted October 15, using pyrotechnics from the paraglider tow test vehicle (TTV) seat. The TTV seat pyrotechnics were adequate to demonstrate system/aircraft compatibility but lacked certain items required for full system test. Full system testing accordingly did not begin until January 28, 1965.

1964 June 30 - .
  • McDonnell conducted the first of two tests to qualify the spacecraft for water impact landing. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Static article No. 4 was dropped from the landing system test rig heatshield forward and incurred no damage. In the second test, on July 13, the unit was dropped conical section forward. A pressure decay test of the cabin after the drop indicated a very small leak. The test unit was left in the water for two weeks and took on a pint of water, meeting qualification requirements.

1964 July 10 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Manager Charles W. Mathews reported that the Gemini Program Office had been reviewing and evaluating plans for Gemini-Titan (GT) missions 4 through 7. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 4; Gemini 5; Gemini 6. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell; Gemini REP. Summary: GT-4 would be a four-day mission using battery power. . Additional Details: here....

1964 July 16-17 - .
  • Flight Crew Support Division objected to McDonnell procedures for conducting ejection seat sled tests because they were not adequate to give confidence in manned use of the seats. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. Summary: The dummies were being rigged with extreme restraint-harness tensions and highly torqued joints which could not be achieved with human subjects. McDonnell was requested to review the situation and prepare a report for Gemini Program Office..

1964 July 10-25 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Gemini Program Office reported that tests had been conducted on section I of the fuel cells planned for the long-duration Gemini-Titan 5 mission. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 5. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Summary: These tests had resulted in a failure characterized by output decay. A complete investigation was in process to determine the cause of the failure..

1964 July 29 - .
  • First captive-flight test of the Paraglider Landing System Program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. North American conducted the first tow test vehicle (TTV) captive-flight test required by the Paraglider Landing System Program. A helicopter towed the TTV to 2600 feet. After about 20 minutes of total flight time, the test pilot brought the TTV to a smooth three-point landing. The tow cable was released immediately after touchdown, the wing about four seconds later. This highly successful flight was followed on August 7 by a free-flight test that was much less successful. After the TTV was towed by helicopter to 15,500 feet and released, it went into a series of uncontrolled turns, and the pilot was forced to bail out. North American then undertook a test program to isolate the malfunction and correct it, including 14 radio-controlled, half-scale TTV test flights between August 24 and December 13. Two highly successful radio-controlled, full-scale TTV free flights on December 15 and 17 justified another attempted pilot-controlled flight on December 19, with excellent results.

1964 August 4-6 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center Propulsion and Power Division conducted a test of the Gemini fuel cell. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. The system was inadvertently operated for 15 minutes during a short circuit prior to the scheduled test. System performance was poor, and two of the cells would not carry loads of six amperes. The test was terminated. The product water sample obtained from the test was extremely acidic, indicating a potential membrane failure.

1964 August 31 - .
  • Manned Spacecraft Center reported that efforts were still being made to clarify production problems at Ordnance Associates, Pasadena, California, pyrotechnics contractor for the Gemini program. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. The problems appeared to be more extensive than had been previously indicated. Problems of poor planning or fabrication and testing were complicated by poor quality control. In many areas it was difficult to trace the routing of parts. These problems were caused by inadequate record-keeping and frequent by-passing of checkpoints by development engineers who were trying to expedite the release of parts for test programs. Efforts to solve these difficulties stopped production for a time and delayed the overall program.

1964 August 31 - .
  • Gemini Program Office (GPO) reported the substantial completion of all research and development testing of components. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 6. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Summary: These included the thrust chamber assemblies, of the reentry control system (RCS) and orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) as configured for spacecraft Nos. 2 through 5. . Additional Details: here....

1964 September - .
  • Early in the month, Bell Aerosystems began a test program to identify the cause of the failure of the secondary propulsion system (SPS) Unit II thrust chamber during Preliminary Flight Rating Tests. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. The wall of the thrust chamber had burned through near the injector face before attaining the specification accumulated firing time of 400 seconds. Six series of tests, each comprising three 50-second firings separated by 30-minute coast periods, were planned, with the temperature range of fuel and oxidizer varied for each series. Originally planned for completion in two weeks, the test program was delayed by test cell problems and did not end until mid-November. Only four test series were actually run, but they were enough to establish that the chamber wall burned through when both fuel and oxidizer were at elevated temperatures (above 100 degrees F) and only when burn time approached 50 seconds. Gemini Project Office concluded that no mission problem existed because Lockheed's analysis of SPS operation indicated that the maximum propellant temperature range in orbit was 0 degrees to 85 degrees F, including a 30 degree F margin. (Nominal temperature range was 30 degrees to 55 degrees F.)

1964 September 25-26 - .
  • Representatives from Instrumentation and Electronics Division conducted preliminary rendezvous radar flight tests at White Sands Missile Range. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Summary: Testing was interrupted while the T-33 aircraft being used was down for major maintenance and was then resumed on October 19. Flight testing of the rendezvous radar concluded December 8..

1964 September 29 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Fuel cells and batteries were discussed as power sources for the Gemini-Titan (GT) 5 mission (long-duration) at a meeting of the Gemini Management Panel. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 4; Gemini 5. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. A study was reviewed that proposed a combination to be used in the following manner: batteries would be used during peak load requirements; the fuel cell would supply the remaining mission power source requirements. The panal accepted the proposal, and McDonnell was directed to proceed with the plan. In addition, the group decided to remove the fuel cell from GT-4 and substitute batteries, pending the concurrence of NASA Headquarters. It also decided to fly older versions of the fuel cell in GT-2 (the redesigned version would be flown in the later manned flights) to gain flight experience with the component. Additional Details: here....

1964 September 30 - .
  • Manned at-sea tests of the Gemini spacecraft, using static article No. 5, began. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. During the two days of tests, spacecraft postlanding systems functioned satisfactorily, but the two crew members were uncomfortable while wearing their pressure suits. The comfort level was improved by removing the suits, but cabin heat and humidity levels were high. The test was stopped after 17 hours by the approach of Hurricane Hilda. A test to determine if opening the hatch would alleviate the heat and humidity problem was conducted November 13; temperature did fall, enhancing comfort of the test subjects. Three days later an at-sea test demonstrated water egress procedure. The astronauts left the spacecraft and were able to close and latch the hatch behind them, indicating that the reentry vehicle could be recovered even if the astronauts had to leave it.

1964 October 9-17 - .
  • First major tests of the NASA worldwide tracking network were conducted in preparation for manned orbital flights in the Gemini program. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini. Simulated flight missions were carried out over nine days and invloved Goddard Space Flight Center, Mission Control Center at the Cape, and eight remote sites in the worldwide network to test tracking and communications equipment, as well as flight control procedures and equipment. This completed the updating of the Manned Space Flight Tracking Network to support the Gemini flights. Converting the Mercury network for Gemini had taken two years and cost $50 million.

1964 October 10 - .
  • First production rendezvous radar accepted. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 5. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Summary: Gemini Program Office reported that the first production rendezvous radar, intended for spacecraft No. 5, had completed its predelivery acceptance test. .

1964 October 17 - .
  • Crew Systems Division reported that zero-g tests had been conducted at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to evaluate extravehicular life support system ingress techniques. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Results showed that, after practice at zero-g, subjects wearing the chest pack had successfully entered the spacecraft and secured the hatch in approximately 50 seconds..

1964 October 17 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Flight Crew Support Division reported that the Gemini-Titan (GT) 3 primary crew had completed egress practice in boilerplate No. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 3; Gemini 4. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. 201 in the Ellington Air Force Base flotation tank. The backup GT-4 crew was scheduled for such training on October 23. Full-scale egress and recovery training for both the GT-3 and the GT-4 crews was scheduled to begin about January 15, when parachute refresher courses would also be scheduled.

1964 October 22-29 - .
  • Use of Gemini suits in Apollo Block I missions studied - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC's Crew Systems Division investigated environmental control system (ECS) implications of using Gemini suits in Block I missions. The results indicated that the ECS was capable of maintaining nominal cabin temperature and carbon dioxide partial pressure levels; however, this mode of operation always had an adverse effect on cabin dewpoint temperature and water condensation rate.

1964 November 3 - .
  • Brig Gen David Jones named NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA announced the appointment of Brig. Gen. David M. Jones as Deputy Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight (effective December 15). Most recently, Jones had been Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems, in the Air Force Systems Command. He would be "primarily concerned with major development problems in the Gemini and Apollo Programs, the planning for Advanced Missions and all Mission Operations." Further, Jones would "work with other NASA program offices to insure optimum use of other elements of NASA to accomplish program objectives."

1964 November 5 - .
  • Gemini launch vehicle 2 and spacecraft No. 2 were mechanically mated at complex 19. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. The Electrical Interface Integrated Validation, confirming compatibility between launch vehicle and spacecraft and checking out redundant circuits connecting the interface, was completed November 9. This was followed by the Joint Guidance and Control Test, completed Novenber 12, which established proper functioning of the secondary guidance system, comprising the spacecraft inertial guidance system and the launch vehicle's secondary flight control system.

1964 December 3 - .
  • NASA advised North American that no funds were available for further flight testing in the Paraglider Landing System Program, following completion of full-scale test vehicle flight test No. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Paraglide. 25. NASA did authorize North American to use the test vehicles and equipment it had for a contractor-supported flight test program. North American conducted a two-week test program which culminated in a highly successful manned tow-test vehicle flight on December 19.

1964 December 17 - .
  • Phase III tests to qualify the Gemini parachute recovery system began. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. Phase III tests to qualify the Gemini parachute recovery system began with a successful drop of static article No. 7. In addition to No. 7, static article No. 4A was also used in the series of 10 tests. All tests were successful, with neither parachute nor sequencing failures. Phase III ended on February 11, 1965, with the 10th drop test. This completed the qualification of the Gemini parachute system.

1964 December 31 - .
  • Identical bioinstrumentation for both blocks of Apollo spacecraft - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. After conferring with the Space Medicine Branch and with the Gemini and Apollo support offices, Crew Systems Division officials opted for identical bioinstrumentation in both blocks of Apollo spacecraft. Hamilton Standard would also try to use identical harnesses.

1965 January 4 - .
  • McDonnell delivered Gemini spacecraft No. 3 to Cape Kennedy. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 3. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. After its receiving inspection had been completed (January 6), the spacecraft was moved to the Merritt Island Launch Area Radar Range for a communications radiation test. This test, performed only on spacecraft No. 3 because it was scheduled for the first manned mission, exercised spacecraft communications in a radio-frequency environment closely simulating the actual flight environment. The test was run January 7, and the spacecraft then began preparations for static firing.

1965 January 6 - .
  • Modified Gemini space suits to used for Apollo - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: William A. Lee, chief of ASPO's Operations Planning Division, outlined the space suit design criteria for Apollo missions 204 and 205. Modified Gemini space suits were to be used..

1965 January 11 - .
  • The test program to qualify the Gemini escape-system personel parachute began with two low-altitude dummy drops. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Parachute. The backboard and egress kit failed to separate cleanly; the interference causing the trouble was corrected, and the parachute was successfully tested in two more drops on January 15. Four high-altitude dummy drops followed during the week of January 18. System sequencing was satisfactory, but in two of the four drops the ballute deployed too slowly. The problem was corrected and checked out in two more dummy drops on February 12 and 16. In the meantime, low-altitude live jump tests had begun on January 28. The 12th and final test in this series was completed February 10. Aside from difficulties in test procedures, this series proceeded without incident. High-altitude live jump tests began February 17.

1965 January 12 - .
  • Apollo Crew Station Branch of Flight Crew Support Division given consolidated responsibilities - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Slayton. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Donald K. Slayton, MSC Assistant Director for Flight Crew Operations, pointed out to Managers of the ASPO and the Gemini Program Office that a number of units of spacecraft control and display equipment were needed to support the Spacecraft Control Office in the areas of spacecraft crew procedures development, crew station equipment development, flight crew familiarization, training, and spacecraft mission preparation. Such equipment was needed within MSC, at other NASA Centers, and at contractor facilities to support centrifuge programs, research vehicle programs, launch abort simulations, rendezvous and docking simulations, retrofire and reentry simulations, and other mission phase simulations. Slayton emphasized that uncoordinated requests for hardware procurement to support these programs were excessively costly in terms of equipment.

    Slayton said that a "satisfactory method to reduce costs and increase equipment utilization and effectiveness is to assign responsibility as custodian to one technically cognizant organization which will ascertain the total requirement for equipment and be responsible for coordinating procurement and allocating and transferring hardware assignment required to meet program requirements." He recommended that the Crew Station Branch of Flight Crew Support Division be given the consolidated responsibilities.


1965 January 15 - .
  • Gemini spacecraft No. 3 thrusters static fired. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 3. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Gemini spacecraft No. 3 thrusters were static fired as part of a complete, end-to-end propulsion system verification test program carried out on spacecraft Nos. 2 and 3 to provide an early thorough checkout of servicing procedures and equipment before their required use at the launch complex. T Additional Details: here....

1965 January 16 - .
  • Simulated off-the-pad ejection (SOPE) qualification testing resumed. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. After a long delay because pyrotechnics were not available, simulated off-the-pad ejection (SOPE) qualification testing resumed with SOPE No. 12. Performance of the left seat was completely satisfactory, but the right seat rocket catapult fired prematurely because the right hatch actuator malfunctioned. The seat collided with the hatch and failed to leave the test vehicle. All hatch actuators were modified to preclude repetition of this failure. After being tested, the redesigned hatch actuators were used in SOPE No. 13 on February 12. The test was successful, and all systems functioned properly. This portion of the qualification test program came to a successful conclusion with SOPE No. 14 on March 6. The complete ejection system functioned as designed, and all equipment was recovered in excellent condition.

1965 January 28 - .
  • The High-Altitude Ejection Test (HAET) program resumed with HAET No. 2. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection; Gemini Parachute. This was the first ejection in flight to demonstrate the functional reliability of the Gemini personnel recovery system. The recovery system was ejected from an F-106 at an altitude of 15,000 feet and a speed of mach 0.72. Original plans had called for an ejection at 20,000 feet, but the altitude was lowered because of a change in the Gemini mission ground rules for mode 1 abort. Both seat and dummy were recovered without incident. The program ended on February 12 with HAET No. 3, although the dummy's parachute did not deploy. An aneroid device responsible for initiating chute deployment failed, as did an identical device on February 17 during qualification tests of the personnel parachute. These failures led to redesign of the aneroid, but since the failure could not be attributed to HAET conditions, Gemini Program Office did not consider repeating HAET necessary. All other systems functioned properly in the test, which was conducted from an altitude of 40,000 feet and at a speed of mach 1.7.

1965 January 28 - .
  • The NASA-McDonnell incentive contract for the Gemini spacecraft was approved by NASA Headquarters Procurement Office and the Office of Manned Space Flight. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. The preliminary negotiations between Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) and McDonnell had been completed on December 22, 1964. The contract was then sent to NASA Headquarters for approval of MSC's position in preliminary negotiations. This position was approved on January 5, 1965, at which time final negotiations began. The negotiations were completed on January 15. The contract was signed by MSC and McDonnell and submitted to NASA Headquarters on January 21 for final approval.

1965 January 29 - .
  • Emergency defecation capability added to the Apollo LEM - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. ASPO concurred with the requirement to provide an emergency defecation capability aboard the LEM as established by MSC's Center Medical Programs Office. The addition of a Gemini-type defecation glove appeared to present a satisfactory solution. Crew Systems Division was directed to proceed with their recommendation and add the Gemini gloves to the LEM crew provisions.

1965 February 4 - .
  • Gemini weight-control vigilance. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini. Because of interest expressed by George M. Low, Deputy Director of Manned Spacecraft Center, in spacecraft weight-control vigilance at the previous Gemini Management Panel meeting, Gemini Program Manager Charles W. Mathews reported that weight had increased only 12 pounds in the past month, and a 'leveling-off trend' had been discernible over the last two months. Low, however, was still concerned about the dangers of unforeseen growth as the program progressed from flight to flight. Walter F. Burke of McDonnell suggested that redundant systems be eliminated once the primary systems had been proved. Ernst R. Letsch of Aerospace warned that spacecraft weight was growing to over 8000 pounds, which should require some checking of the structural loads. Both Air Force Space Systems Division and the Gemini Program Office were charged by Low to pay close attention to weight factor.

1965 February 8 - .
  • Scientists invited to a conference on the Gemini and Apollo missions - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA invited 113 scientists and 23 national space organizations to a conference at MSC to brief them on the Gemini and Apollo missions. As a result of the conference, NASA hoped to receive proposals for biomedical experiments to be performed in Gemini and Apollo spacecraft.

1965 February 17 - .
  • A series of live jumps from high altitude to qualify the Gemini personnel parachute began. - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Ejection. The ballute failed to deploy because of a malfunction of the aneroid device responsible for initiating ballute deployment. The identical malfunction had occurred during the high-altitude ejection test on February 12. These two failures prompted a design review of the ballute deployment mechanism. The aneroid was modified, and the qualification test program for the personnel parachute was realigned. In place of the remaining 23 low-altitude live jump tests, 10 high-altitude dummy drops using the complete personnel parachute system (including the ballute), followed by five high-altitude live jumps, would complete the program. The 10 dummy drops were conducted March 2-5 at altitudes from 12,000 to 18,000 feet and at speeds from 130 to 140 knots indicated air speed (KIAS). All sequences functioned normally in all tests but one: in that one, the ballute failed to leave its deployment bag (corrected by eliminating the bag closure pin from the design) and the backboard and egress kit failed to separate (resolved by instituting a special inspection procedure). The five live jumps were conducted March 8-13 at altitudes from 15,000 to 31,000 feet and at a speed of 130 KIAS. Again all test were successful but one, in which the ballute failed to deploy. After a free fall to 9200 feet, the subject punched the manual override, actuating the personnel parachute. This series completed qualification of the personnel parachute and also of the overall Gemini escape system.

1965 March 11-18 - .
  • Gemini program items applicable to Apollo studied - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Crew Systems Division (CSD) engineers were studying several items that, though intended specifically for the Gemini program, were applicable to Apollo as well:

    • During recent tests of the urine nozzle by McDonnell, microorganisms had been found in the sample. This indicated that explosive decompression into very low temperatures had failed to sterilize the urine. To determine possible shifts in the microbial pattern, CSD was examining samples both before and after dumping.
    • Division researchers completed microbiological examinations of Gemini food bags. They found that, even though disinfectant tablets were not completely effective, storage of the containers for periods up to two weeks was nonetheless feasible. (These studies thus reinforced earlier findings of bacterial growth in the bags.)
    CSD engineers also evaluated the Gemini-type water dispenser and found it suitable for the Apollo CM as well.

1965 March 23 - . 14:24 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-3 / 62-12558.
  • Gemini 3 - . Call Sign: Molly Brown (from Broadway play 'The Unsinkable..'. Crew: Grissom; Young. Backup Crew: Schirra; Stafford. Payload: Gemini SC3. Mass: 3,225 kg (7,109 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Grissom; Young; Schirra; Stafford. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 3. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 0.20 days. Decay Date: 1965-03-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 1301 . COSPAR: 1965-024A. Apogee: 240 km (140 mi). Perigee: 160 km (90 mi). Inclination: 33.0000 deg. Period: 88.40 min. First manned test flight of Gemini. Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young entered an elliptical orbit about the earth. After three orbits, the pair manually landed their spacecraft in the Atlantic Ocean, thus performing the first controlled reentry. Unfortunately, they landed much farther from the landing zone than anticipated, about 97 km (60 miles) from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid. But otherwise the mission was highly successful. Gemini III, America's first two-manned space mission, also was the first manned vehicle that was maneuverable. Grissom used the vehicle's maneuvering rockets to effect orbital and plane changes. Grissom wanted to name the spacecraft 'Molly Brown' (as in the Unsinkable, a Debbie Reynolds/Howard Keel screen musical). NASA was not amused and stopped allowing the astronauts to name their spacecraft (until forced to when having two spacecraft aloft at once during the Apollo missions). The flight by Young was the first of an astronaut outside of the original seven. Young, who created a media flap by taking a corned beef sandwich aboard as a prank, would go on to fly to the moon on Apollo and the Space Shuttle on its first flight sixteen years later.

1965 March 27 - .
  • The orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) 25-pound thrusters installed in spacecraft No. 4 were replaced with new long-life engines. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 4; Gemini 5. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini OAMS/RCS. Summary: Installation of the new engines had been planned for spacecraft No. 5, but they were ready earlier than had been anticipated. . Additional Details: here....

1965 April 20 - .
  • McDonnell completed Systems Assurance Tests of Gemini spacecraft No. 5. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 5. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Summary: The environmental control system was validated April 24, and fuel cell reinstallation was completed April 26. The fuel cell had failed during reentry/adapter mating operations on April 16..

1965 May 26 - .
  • McDonnell began altitude chamber tests of Gemini spacecraft No. 5. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 5. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Fuel Cell. Summary: Testing was interrupted by a fuel cell failure on June 1, and fuel sections were replaced. Modifications and preparations for retest concluded June 12, and an overall systems test with the fuel cell was conducted..

1965 June 3 - . 15:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-4 / 62-12559.
  • Gemini 4 - . Call Sign: American Eagle / Little Eva. Crew: McDivitt; White. Backup Crew: Borman; Lovell. Payload: Gemini SC4. Mass: 3,574 kg (7,879 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: McDivitt; White; Borman; Lovell. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 4. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 4.08 days. Decay Date: 1965-06-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 1390 . COSPAR: 1965-043A. Apogee: 281 km (174 mi). Perigee: 162 km (100 mi). Inclination: 32.5000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. The second manned and first long-duration mission in the Gemini program. Major objectives of the four-day mission were demonstrating and evaluating the performance of spacecraft systems in a long-duration flight and evaluating effects on the crew of prolonged exposure to the space environment. Secondary objectives included demonstrating extravehicular activity (EVA) in space, conducting stationkeeping and rendezvous maneuvers with the second stage of the launch vehicle, performing significant in-plane and out-of-plane maneuvers, demonstrating the ability of the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) to back up the retrorockets, and executing 11 experiments. The stationkeeping exercise was terminated at the end of the first revolution because most of the OAMS propellant allocated for the exercise had been used; further efforts would jeopardize primary mission objectives and could mean the cancellation of several secondary objectives. No rendezvous was attempted. The only other major problem to mar the mission was the inadvertent alteration of the computer memory during the 48th revolution in an attempt to correct an apparent malfunction. This made the planned computer-controlled reentry impossible and required an open-loop ballistic reentry. All other mission objectives were met. The flight crew began preparing for EVA immediately after terminating the stationkeeping exercise. Although preparations went smoothly, McDivitt decided to delay EVA for one revolution, both because of the high level of activity required and because deletion of the rendezvous attempt reduced the tightness of the schedule. Ground control approved the decision. The spacecraft hatch was opened at 4 hours 18 minutes into the flight and White exited 12 minutes later, using a hand-held maneuvering gun. White reentered the spacecraft 20 minutes after leaving it. The hatch was closed at 4 hours 54 minutes ground elapsed time. Drifting flight was maintained for the next two and one-half days to conserve propellant. The spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 725 km east of Cape Kennedy - some 65 km from its nominal landing point. The crew boarded a helicopter 34 minutes after landing and was transported to the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp. Spacecraft recovery was completed at 2:28 p.m., a little more than 100 hours after Gemini 4 had been launched. Gemini 4 was the first mission to be controlled from the mission control center in Houston.

    The space walk was hurriedly included after the Russian first in Voskhod 2. White seemed to have a lot more fun than Leonov and McDivitt took the pictures that came to symbolize man in space. With this flight the US finally started to match Russian flight durations.


1965 June 3 - . 19:46 GMT - .
  • EVA Gemini 4-1 - . Crew: White. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0250 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: White. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 4. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: First American walk in space; tested spacesuit and ability to manoeuvre..

1965 July 26 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • Circumlunar flight using Gemini seriously studied - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Webb. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. During a news conference, Kenneth S. Kleinknecht, Deputy Manager of the Gemini Project Office at MSC, affirmed that, although no firm decisions had yet been made, the concept of a circumlunar flight using a Gemini spacecraft was being seriously studied. The mission would use Titan II and III-C launch vehicles and would require rendezvousing in earth orbit. NASA, Martin-Marietta Corporation (builder of the Titan), and Aerojet-General Corporation (which manufactured upper stages for the III-C) all were studying the feasibility of such a flight. Later in the year, NASA Administrator James E. Webb eliminated the possibility of a Gemini circumlunar mission, ". . . our main reliance for operating at lunar distances . . . is the large Saturn V/Apollo system."

1965 August 19 - . LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.
  • A spacecraft computer malfunction caused a hold of the countdown 10 minutes before the scheduled launch of Gemini-Titan 5. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 5. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Inertial Guidance System. While the problem was being investigated, thunderstorms approached the Cape Kennedy area. With the computer problem unresolved and the weather deteriorating rapidly, the mission was scrubbed and rescheduled for August 21. Recycling began with unloading propellants.

1965 August 21 - . 14:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-5 / 62-12560.
  • Gemini 5 - . Call Sign: Gemini 5. Crew: Conrad; Cooper. Backup Crew: Armstrong; See. Payload: Gemini SC5/Rendezvous Evaluation Pod. Mass: 3,605 kg (7,947 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Conrad; Cooper; Armstrong; See. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 5. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar; Gemini REP. Duration: 7.96 days. Decay Date: 1965-08-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 1516 . COSPAR: 1965-068A. Apogee: 395 km (245 mi). Perigee: 304 km (188 mi). Inclination: 32.6000 deg. Period: 91.50 min. Major objectives of the eight-day mission were evaluating the performance of the rendezvous guidance and navigation system, using a rendezvous evaluation pod (REP), and evaluating the effects of prolonged exposure to the space environment on the flight crew. Secondary objectives included demonstrating controlled reentry guidance, evaluating fuel cell performance, demonstrating all phases of guidance and control system operation needed for a rendezvous mission, evaluating the capability of either pilot to maneuver the spacecraft in orbit to rendezvous, evaluating the performance of rendezvous radar, and executing 17 experiments. The mission proceeded without incident through the first two orbits and the ejection of the REP. About 36 minutes after beginning evaluation of the rendezvous guidance and navigation system, the crew noted that the pressure in the oxygen supply tank of the fuel cell system was falling. Pressure dropped from 850 pounds per square inch absolute (psia) at 26 minutes into the flight until it stabilized at 70 psia at 4 hours 22 minutes, and gradually increased through the remainder of the mission. The spacecraft was powered down and the REP exercise was abandoned. By the seventh revolution, experts on the ground had analyzed the problem and a powering-up procedure was started. During the remainder of the mission the flight plan was continuously scheduled in real time. Four rendezvous radar tests were conducted during the mission, the first in revolution 14 on the second day; the spacecraft rendezvous radar successfully tracked a transponder on the ground at Cape Kennedy. During the third day, a simulated Agena rendezvous was conducted at full electrical load. The simulation comprised four maneuvers - apogee adjust, phase adjust, plane change, and coelliptical maneuver - using the orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS). Main activities through the fourth day of the mission concerned operations and experiments. During the fifth day, OAMS operation became sluggish and thruster No. 7 inoperative. Thruster No. 8 went out the next day, and the rest of the system was gradually becoming more erratic. Limited experimental and operational activities continued through the remainder of the mission. Retrofire was initiated in the 121st revolution during the eighth day of the mission, one revolution early because of threatening weather in the planned recovery area. Reentry and landing were satisfactory, but the landing point was 145 km short, the result of incorrect navigation coordinates transmitted to the spacecraft computer from the ground network. Landing occurred August 29, 190 hours 55 minutes after the mission had begun. The astronauts arrived on board the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Lake Champlain, at 9:25. The spacecraft was recovered at 11:51 a.m.

    With this flight, the US finally took the manned spaceflight endurance record from Russia, while demonstrating that the crew could survive in zero gravity for the length of time required for a lunar mission. However the mission was incredibly boring, the spacecraft just drifting to conserve fuel most of the time, and was 'just about the hardest thing I've ever done' according to a hyperactive Pete Conrad. An accident with freeze dried shrimp resulted in the cabin being filled with little pink subsatellites.


1965 August 31 - .
  • Gemini Program Office reported that during the missions of Gemini 4 and 5, skin-tracking procedures had been successfully developed. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 4. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. On these missions, the C-band radars were able to track the spacecraft in both the beacon and skin-track mode. It was, therfore, possible to obtain tracking data when the spacecraft was powered down and had no tracking beacons operating. As a result, the skin-tracking procedures were integrated into the network support for all remaining Gemini missions.

1965 October 7-14 - .
  • Vibration limits for the crew of the Apollo LEM established - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Crew Systems Division (CSD) established vibration limits for the crew of the LEM. This action followed the final LEM vibration test with human subjects at Wright-Patterson AFB and a review of the test program by CSD and Grumman engineers.

    Also, in what CSD described as "the start of a long range program for familiarizing Apollo suit technicians with field and launch operations," the Division reported that it had sent an Apollo suit technician to Cape Kennedy to take part in the forthcoming Gemini VI mission.


1965 November 26 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • McDonnell proposed building a backup target vehicle for Gemini rendezvous missions. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 8. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. The augmented target docking adapter (ATDA) would serve as an alternative to the Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) if efforts to remedy the GATV problem responsible for the October 25 mission abort did not meet the date scheduled for launching Gemini VIII. Additional Details: here....

1965 December 4 - . 19:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-7 / 62-12562.
  • Gemini 7 - . Call Sign: Gemini 7. Crew: Borman; Lovell. Backup Crew: Collins; White. Payload: Gemini SC7. Mass: 3,663 kg (8,075 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Borman; Lovell; Collins; White. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 6; Gemini 7. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 13.77 days. Decay Date: 1965-12-18 . USAF Sat Cat: 1812 . COSPAR: 1965-100A. Apogee: 318 km (197 mi). Perigee: 217 km (134 mi). Inclination: 28.9000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Primary objectives of the mission were demonstrating manned orbital flight for approximately 14 days and evaluating the physiological effects of a long-duration flight on the crew. Among the secondary objectives were providing a rendezvous target for the Gemini VI-A spacecraft, stationkeeping with the second stage of the launch vehicle and with spacecraft No. 6, conducting 20 experiments, using lightweight pressure suits, and evaluating the spacecraft reentry guidance capability. All objectives were successfully achieved with the exception of two experiments lost because of equipment failure. Shortly after separation from the launch vehicle, the crew maneuvered the spacecraft to within 60 feet of the second stage and stationkept for about 15 minutes. The exercise was terminated by a separation maneuver, and the spacecraft was powered down in preparation for the 14-day mission. The crew performed five maneuvers during the course of the mission to increase orbital lifetime and place the spacecraft in proper orbit for rendezvous with spacecraft No. 6. Rendezvous was successfully accomplished during the 11th day in orbit, with spacecraft No. 7 serving as a passive target for spacecraft No. 6. About 45 hours into the mission, Lovell removed his pressure suit. He again donned his suit at 148 hours, while Borman removed his. Some 20 hours later Lovell again removed his suit, and both crewmen flew the remainder of the mission without suits, except for the rendezvous and reentry phases. With three exceptions, the spacecraft and its systems performed nominally throughout the entire mission. The delayed-time telemetry playback tape recorder malfunctioned about 201hours after liftoff, resulting in the loss of all delayed-time telemetry data for the remainder of the mission. Two fuel cell stacks showed excessive degradation late in the flight and were taken off the line; the remaining four stacks furnished adequate electrical power until reentry. Two attitude thrusters performed poorly after 283 hours in the mission. Retrofire occurred exactly on time, and reentry and landing were nominal. The spacecraft missed the planned landing point by only 10.3 km miles, touching down on December 18. The crew arrived at the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp, half an hour later. The spacecraft was recovered half an hour after the crew.

    Far surpassing the Gemini 5 flight, Gemini 7 set a manned spaceflight endurance record that would endure for years. The incredibly boring mission, was made more uncomfortable by the extensive biosensors. This was somewhat offset by the soft spacesuits (used only once) and permission to spend most of the time in long johns. The monotony was broken just near the end by the rendezvous with Gemini 6.


1965 December 15 - . 13:37 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-6 / 62-12561.
  • Gemini 6 - . Call Sign: Gemini 6. Crew: Schirra; Stafford. Backup Crew: Grissom; Young. Payload: Gemini SC6. Mass: 3,546 kg (7,817 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Schirra; Stafford; Grissom; Young. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 6; Gemini 7. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Duration: 1.08 days. Decay Date: 1965-12-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 1839 . COSPAR: 1965-104A. Apogee: 271 km (168 mi). Perigee: 258 km (160 mi). Inclination: 28.9000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. The primary objective of the mission, crewed by command pilot Astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Jr., and pilot Astronaut Thomas P. Stafford, was to rendezvous with spacecraft No. 7. Among the secondary objectives were stationkeeping with spacecraft No. 7, evaluating spacecraft reentry guidance capability, testing the visibility of spacecraft No. 7 as a rendezvous target, and conducting three experiments. After the launch vehicle inserted the spacecraft into an 87 by 140 nautical mile orbit, the crew prepared for the maneuvers necessary to achieve rendezvous. Four maneuvers preceded the first radar contact between the two spacecraft. The first maneuver, a height adjustment, came an hour and a half after insertion, at first perigee; a phase adjustment at second apogee, a plane change, and another height adjustment at second perigee followed. The onboard radar was turned on 3 hours into the mission. The first radar lock-on indicated 246 miles between the two spacecraft. The coelliptic maneuver was performed at third apogee, 3 hours 47 minutes after launch. The terminal phase initiation maneuver was performed an hour and a half later. Two midcourse corrections preceded final braking maneuvers at 5 hours 50 minutes into the flight. Rendezvous was technically accomplished and stationkeeping began some 6 minutes later when the two spacecraft were about 120 feet apart and their relative motion had stopped. Stationkeeping maneuvers continued for three and a half orbits at distances from 1 to 300 feet. Spacecraft No. 6 then initiated a separation maneuver and withdrew to a range of about 30 miles. The only major malfunction in spacecraft No. 6 during the mission was the failure of the delayed-time telemetry tape recorder at 20 hours 55 minutes ground elapsed time, which resulted in the loss of all delayed-time telemetry data for the remainder of the mission, some 4 hours and 20 minutes. The flight ended with a nominal reentry and landing in the West Atlantic, just 10 km from the planned landing point, on December 16. The crew remained in the spacecraft, which was recovered an hour later by the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp.

    Gemini 6 was to have been the first flight involving docking with an Agena target/propulsion stage. However the Agena blew up on the way to orbit, and the spacecraft was replaced by Gemini 7 in the launch order.

    For lack of a target, NASA decided to have Gemini 6 rendezvous with Gemini 7. This would require a quick one week turnaround of the pad after launch, no problem with Russian equipment but a big accomplishment for the Americans. The first launch attempt was aborted; the Titan II ignited for a moment, then shut down and settled back down on its launch attachments. Schirra waited it out, did not pull the abort handles that would send the man catapulting out of the capsule on their notoriously unreliable ejection seats. The booster was safed; Schirra had saved the mission and the launch three days later went perfectly. The flight went on to achieve the first manned space rendezvous controlled entirely by the self-contained, on-board guidance, control, and navigation system. This system provided the crew of Gemini 6 with attitude, thrusting, and time information needed for them to control the spacecraft during the rendezvous. Under Schirra's typically precise command, the operation was so successful that the rendezvous was complete with fuel consumption only 5% above the planned value to reach 16 m separation from Gemini 7.


1966 January 3 - .
  • Operational constraints for Apollo experimenters - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. An OMSF memorandum spelled out operational constraints for Apollo experimenters to prevent experiment-generated operational problems. The author, E. E. Christensen, investigated the area at the request of NASA Associate Administrator for Manned Space Flight George E. Mueller and developed some general conclusions, based on experience gained in the Gemini experiments program.

    Christensen said the following items should be considered:

    1. The experimenter should be required to produce all hardware and paperwork on schedule or resign himself to the fact that the experiment would be deferred to a later flight.
    2. Training hardware should be identical to flight hardware except for flight certification documentation.
    3. The experimenter should be informed that control fuel and power resources are limited aboard the spacecraft and his requirements should specify minimum usage.
    4. The experimenter should be informed that recording and telemetry facilities are definitely limited and he should provide for alternate modes of data collection.
    5. The experimenter should be requested to submit, as early as possible, detailed operational requirements, including timeline data, to MSC for inclusion in the flight plan and to allow a maximum time for solution of operational problems.
    6. The experimenter should indicate both minimum and optimum experiment data requirements to allow mission planners some latitude in mission design.
    7. The experimenter should be informed that every effort would be made to fly assigned experiments, but that certain prime mission requirements might be generated in flight and take precedence. In this event NASA would make every effort to reassign a deleted experiment to a later mission.
    8. The experimenter should be informed that flight crew prime mission time demands can be exacting and that experiments requiring conscious efforts on the part of the crew may have to be compromised so as not to interfere with primary mission objectives.
    Christensen suggested that NASA Headquarters could assist by providing guidance to MSC regarding the assignment of experiment priorities on each mission and the extent of allowable degradation of experimentation. He indicated that he felt the following experiments appeared to contain potential operational problems: S5, Synoptic Terrain Photography; M9A, Human Otolith Function; S14, Frog Otolith Function; S16, Trapped Particles Asymmetry; S17, X-ray Astronomy; and S18, Micrometeorite Collection.

1966 February 2-24 - .
  • Dual Apollo AS-207/208 flight studied - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. In response to a January 28 TWX from NASA Hq., MSC personnel made recommendations after evaluating the impact of a dual AS-207/208 flight on ground support and mission control. On February 2, John P. Mayer, Chief, Mission Planning and Analysis Division, told the Assistant Director for Flight Operations that the sole area of concern would be in providing the necessary Real Time Computer Complex readiness in a time frame consistent with the AS-207 launch schedule. Mayer also recommended that a decision be made in the very near future to commit AS-207 and AS-208 to a dual mission and that, if possible, IBM personnel knowledgeable in the Gemini dual vehicle system be diverted to the proposed mission if major modifications were not required for the Gemini XI and Gemini XII missions.

    On February 4, John D. Hodge, Chief of the Flight Control Division, listed for the Technical Assistant for Apollo some problem areas that could arise in the operational aspects of the proposed mission with AS-207 carrying a manned CSM and AS-208 carrying only a LEM. Hodge recommended that the two launches not be attempted simultaneously, saying that some time between the launches should be determined, which would eliminate most of the problems anticipated.

    Howard W. Tindall, Jr., Assistant Chief, Mission Planning and Analysis Division, in a memo documented some design criteria and philosophy on which the AS-207/208 rendezvous mission plan was being developed by the Rendezvous Analysis Branch. Tindall pointed out that, from the Gemini program experience, the plan was felt to be relatively firm. Tindall named some of the basic features recommended by the study:

    1. The CSM should be launched before the LEM.
    2. The first CSM orbit should be 482 km and the LEM orbit should be 203 km high, both circular. The inclination should be about 29 degrees.
    3. There should be two "on-time" launch opportunities each day of about three minutes each, during which a LEM launch would provide ideal in-plane and phasing conditions.
    4. It was anticipated that the basic rendezvous could be completed within four-and-a-half hours after LEM liftoff.
    5. It was estimated that about 1,317 km per hr of spacecraft in-orbit propulsion would be required to carry out the rendezvous, with about seven service propulsion system maneuvers including terminal phase initiation.

1966 March 7 - .
  • Stress corrosion of Apollo titanium tanks problem identified - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. Apollo Program Director Samuel C. Phillips, in a memo to the Director, Office of Advanced Research and Technology, NASA Hq., pointed out that in July 1965 the Apollo program encountered stress corrosion of titanium tanks from nitrogen tetroxide propellant. Additional Details: here....

1966 March 16 - . 16:41 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-8 / 62-12563.
  • Gemini 8 - . Call Sign: Gemini 8. Crew: Armstrong; Scott. Backup Crew: Conrad; Gordon. Payload: Gemini SC8. Mass: 3,788 kg (8,351 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Armstrong; Scott; Conrad; Gordon. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 8. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 0.45 days. Decay Date: 1966-03-17 . USAF Sat Cat: 2105 . COSPAR: 1966-020A. Apogee: 264 km (164 mi). Perigee: 160 km (90 mi). Inclination: 28.9000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. The Atlas-Agena target vehicle for the Gemini VIII mission was successfully launched from KSC Launch Complex 14 at 10 a.m. EST March 16. The Gemini VIII spacecraft followed from Launch Complex 19 at 11:41 a.m., with command pilot Neil A. Armstrong and pilot David R. Scott aboard. The spacecraft and its target vehicle rendezvoused and docked, with docking confirmed 6 hours 33 minutes after the spacecraft was launched. This first successful docking with an Agena target vehicle was followed by a major space emergency. About 27 minutes later the spacecraft-Agena combination encountered unexpected roll and yaw motion. A stuck thruster on Gemini put the docked assembly into a wild high speed gyration. Near structural limits and blackout, Armstrong undocked, figuring the problem was in the Agena, which only made it worse. The problem arose again and when the yaw and roll rates became too high the crew shut the main Gemini reaction control system down and activated and used both rings of the reentry control system to reduce the spacecraft rates to zero. This used 75% of that system's fuel. Although the crew wanted to press on with the mission and Scott's planned space walk, ground control ordered an emergency splashdown in the western Pacific during the seventh revolution. The spacecraft landed at 10:23 p.m. EST March 16 and Armstrong and Scott were picked up by the destroyer U.S.S. Mason at 1:37 a.m. EST March 17. Although the flight was cut short by the incident, one of the primary objectives - rendezvous and docking (the first rendezvous of two spacecraft in orbital flight) - was accomplished.

    Primary objectives of the scheduled three-day mission were to rendezvous and dock with the Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) and to conduct extravehicular activities. Secondary objectives included rendezvous and docking during the fourth revolution, performing docked maneuvers using the GATV primary propulsion system, executing 10 experiments, conducting docking practice, performing a rerendezvous, evaluating the auxiliary tape memory unit, demonstrating controlled reentry, and parking the GATV in a 220-nautical mile circular orbit. The GATV was inserted into a nominal 161-nautical mile circular orbit, the spacecraft into a nominal 86 by 147-nautical mile elliptical orbit. During the six hours following insertion, the spacecraft completed nine maneuvers to rendezvous with the GATV. Rendezvous phase ended at 5 hours 58 minutes ground elapsed time, with the spacecraft 150 feet from the GATV and no relative motion between the two vehicles. Stationkeeping maneuvers preceded docking, which was accomplished at 6 hours 33 minutes ground elapsed time. A major problem developed 27 minutes after docking, when a spacecraft orbit attitude and maneuver system (OAMS) thruster malfunctioned. The crew undocked from the GATV and managed to bring the spacecraft under control by deactivating the OAMS and using the reentry control system (RCS) to reduce the spacecraft's rapid rotation. Premature use of the RCS, however, required the mission to be terminated early. The retrofire sequence was initiated in the seventh revolution, followed by nominal reentry and landing in a secondary recovery area in the western Pacific Ocean. The spacecraft touched down less than 10 km from the planned landing point. The recovery ship, the destroyer Leonard Mason, picked up both crew and spacecraft some three hours later. Early termination of the mission precluded achieving all mission objectives, but one primary objective - rendezvous and docking - was accomplished. Several secondary objectives were also achieved: rendezvous and docking during the fourth revolution, evaluating the auxiliary tape memory unit, demonstrating controlled reentry, and parking the GATV. Two experiments were partially performed.


1966 March 21 - . LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3.
  • Gemini Agena target vehicle 5004 and spacecraft No. 9 began Plan X compatibility tests at Merritt Island Launch Area Radar Range. - . Nation: USA. Flight: Gemini 9. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar.

1966 March 30 - .
  • On-board television for Apollo proposed - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. NASA Deputy Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr., said he had been reflecting on network coverage for Apollo, as a result of the Gemini VIII experience. He recognized that Apollo had more weight-carrying ability and stowage space than Gemini and that as a consequence live TV from the spacecraft might be a good possibility. This coverage could allow for extensive TV during travel to and from the moon as well as during lunar landing, disembarkation, and lunar exploration. The TV equipment would not be solely for news purposes but he felt "all manner of demands will be placed upon us for continuous live coverage." He requested a review at an early date as to

    1. the technical capability of planned equipment,
    2. preliminary plans for network coverage, and
    3. possible modification of Apollo equipment to provide greater capability for scientific, technical, operational, and information coverage of the missions by camera and television techniques.

1966 June - .
  • Gemini 9A (cancelled) - . Crew: Bassett; See. Backup Crew: Cernan; Stafford. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Bassett; See; Cernan; Stafford. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 9A. Spacecraft: G4C AMU; Gemini. Elliot See and Charlie Bassett were the prime crew for Gemini 9. On February 28, 1966, they were flying in a NASA T-38 trainer to visit the McDonnell plant in St Louis, where their spacecraft was in assembly. See misjudged his landing approach, and in pulling up from the runway, hit Building 101 where the spacecraft was being assembled. Both astronauts were killed, and 14 persons on the ground were injured. As a result, the Gemini 9 backup crew became the prime crew, and all subsequent crew assignments were reshuffled. This ended up determining who would be the first man on the moon.

1966 June 3 - . 13:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-9 / 62-12564.
  • Gemini 9 - . Call Sign: Gemini 9. Crew: Cernan; Stafford. Backup Crew: Aldrin; Lovell. Payload: Gemini SC9. Mass: 3,668 kg (8,086 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cernan; Stafford; Aldrin; Lovell. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 9. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 3.01 days. Decay Date: 1966-06-06 . USAF Sat Cat: 2191 . COSPAR: 1966-047A. Apogee: 272 km (169 mi). Perigee: 269 km (167 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. At the first launch attempt, while the crew waited buttoned up in the spacecraft on the pad, their Agena docking target field blew up on the way to orbit. NASA decided to use an Atlas to launch an Agena docking collar only. This was called the Augmented Target Docking Adapter. Ths was successfully launched and the Gemini succeeded in rendezvousing with it. However, the ATDA shroud had not completely separated, thus making docking impossible. However three different types of rendezvous were tested with the ATDA. Cernan began his EVA, which was to include flight with a USAF MMU rocket pack but the Gemini suit could not handle heat load of the astronaut's exertions. Cernan's faceplate fogs up, forcing him to blindly grope back into the Gemini hatch after only two hours.

    Seventh manned and third rendezvous mission of the Gemini program. Major objectives of the mission were to rendezvous and dock with the augmented target docking adapter (ATDA) and to conduct extravehicular activities (EVA). These objectives were only partially met. After successfully achieving rendezvous during the third revolution - a secondary objective - the crew discovered that the ATDA shroud had failed to separate, precluding docking - a primary objective - as well as docking practice - another secondary objective. The crew was able, however, to achieve other secondary objectives: an equi-period rendezvous, using onboard optical techniques and completed at 6 hours 36 minutes ground elapsed time; and a rendezvous from above, simulating the rendezvous of an Apollo command module with a lunar module in a lower orbit (completed at 21 hours 42 minutes ground elapsed time). Final separation maneuver was performed at 22 hours 59 minutes after liftoff. EVA was postponed because of crew fatigue, and the second day was given over to experiments. The hatch was opened for EVA at 49 hours 23 minutes ground elapsed time. EVA was successful, but one secondary objective - evaluation of the astronaut maneuvering unit (AMU) - was not achieved because Cernan's visor began fogging. The extravehicular life support system apparently became overloaded with moisture when Cernan had to work harder than anticipated to prepare the AMU for donning. Cernan reentered the spacecraft, and the hatch was closed at 51 hours 28 minutes into the flight. The rest of the third day was spent on experiments.


1966 June 5 - . 15:02 GMT - .
  • EVA Gemini 9-1 - . Crew: Cernan. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0882 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cernan. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 9. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Attempted to test USAF Astronaut Manoeuvring Unit. Cancelled when Cernan's faceplate fogged over..

1966 July 13 - . LV Family: Saturn V. Launch Vehicle: Saturn V.
  • Apollo mission discontinuity leading to the lunar landing - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Kraft; Shea. Program: Apollo. Flight: Apollo 7; Apollo 204. Spacecraft: Gemini. MSC Director of Flight Crew Operations Donald K. Slayton and Director of Flight Operations Christopher C. Kraft, Jr., told ASPO Manager Joseph F. Shea: "A comprehensive examination of the Apollo missions leading to the lunar landing indicates that there is a considerable discontinuity between missions AS-205 and AS-207/208". Additional Details: here....

1966 July 18 - . 22:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-10 / 62-12565.
  • Gemini 10 - . Call Sign: Gemini 10. Crew: Collins; Young. Backup Crew: Bean; Williams, Clifton. Payload: Gemini SC10. Mass: 3,763 kg (8,295 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Collins; Young; Bean; Williams, Clifton. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 10. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 2.95 days. Decay Date: 1966-07-21 . USAF Sat Cat: 2349 . COSPAR: 1966-066A. Apogee: 259 km (160 mi). Perigee: 160 km (90 mi). Inclination: 28.9000 deg. Period: 88.70 min. Exciting mission with successful docking with Agena, flight up to parking orbit where Gemini 8 Agena is stored. Collins space walks from Gemini to Agena to retrieve micrometeorite package left in space all those months. Loses grip first time, and tumbles head over heels at end of umbilical around Gemini. Package retrieved on second try.

    The Gemini X mission began with the launch of the Gemini Atlas-Agena target vehicle from complex 14. The Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) attained a near-circular, 162- by 157-nautical-mile orbit. Spacecraft No. 10 was inserted into a 145- by 86-nautical-mile elliptical orbit. Slant range between the two vehicles was very close to the nominal 1000 miles. Major objective of the mission was achieved during the fourth revolution when the spacecraft rendezvoused with the GATV at 5 hours 23 minutes ground elapsed time and docked with it about 30 minutes later. More spacecraft propellant was used to achieve rendezvous than had been predicted, imposing constraints on the remainder of the mission and requiring the development of an alternate flight plan. As a result, several experiments were not completed, and another secondary objective - docking practice - was not attempted. To conserve fuel and permit remaining objectives to be met, the spacecraft remained docked with the GATV for about 39 hours. During this period, a bending mode test was conducted to determine the dynamics of the docked vehicles, standup extravehicular activties (EVA) were conducted, and several experiments were performed. The GATV primary and secondary propulsion systems were used for six maneuvers to put the docked spacecraft into position for rendezvous with the Gemini VIII GATV as a passive target. The spacecraft undocked at 44 hours 40 minutes ground elapsed time, separated from the GATV, and used its own thrusters to complete the second rendezvous some three hours later. At 48 hours and 42 minutes into the flight, a 39-minute period of umbilical EVA began, which included the retrieval of a micrometorite collection package from the Gemini VIII Agena. The hatch was opened a third time about an hour later to jettison extraneous equipment before reentry. After about three hours of stationkeeping, the spacecraft separated from the GATV. At 51 hours 39 minutes ground elapsed time, the crew performed a true anomaly-adjust maneuver to minimize reentry dispersions resulting from the retrofire maneuver.


1966 July 19 - . 21:44 GMT - .
  • EVA Gemini 10-1 - . Crew: Collins. EVA Type: Stand-Up External Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0347 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Collins. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 10. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Photographed earth and stars..

1966 July 20 - .
  • EVA Gemini 10-3 - . Crew: Collins. EVA Type: Internal Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0007 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Collins. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 10. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Threw excess equipment out of spacecraft..

1966 July 20 - . 23:01 GMT - .
  • EVA Gemini 10-2 - . Crew: Collins. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0271 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Collins. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 10. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Retrieved micrometeoroid collector from Agena..

1966 August 22 - .
  • Concern about Apollo lunar television camera program - . Nation: USA. Program: Apollo. Spacecraft: Gemini. In a letter to the President of Westinghouse Electric Corp., George M. Low, Acting Director of MSC, expressed his concern about the lunar television camera program. Low pointed out that Westinghouse had been awarded the contract by MSC in October 1964, that delivery of the cameras was to be made over a 15-month period, and that the total value of the original cost-plus-fixed-fee contract was $2,296,249 including a fee of $150,300. The cost reports required by the contract (at the time of Low's letter) showed that Westinghouse estimated the cost to complete at $7,927,000 and estimated the hardware delivery date as January 31, 1967. Low pointed out that the proposal letter from Westinghouse in May 1964 stated that "the Aerospace Division considers the Lunar Television Camera to represent a goal culminating years of concentrated effort directed toward definition, design, and verification of critical elements of this most important program. Accordingly, the management assures NASA Manned Spacecraft Center that the program will be executed with nothing less than top priority application of all personnel, facilities, and management resources." Low said that despite these assurances the overrun and schedule slippages indicated a lack of adequate program management at all levels and a general lack of initiative in taking corrective actions to solve problems encountered.

    Westinghouse replied to Low on September 1 that it, too, was disappointed "when technology will not permit a research and development program such as this to be completed within its original cost and schedule objectives." The reply stated "Our people have taken every precaution - gone to the extreme, perhaps, in its impact on cost and schedule - to achieve the required mission reliability. . . ." The letter concluded by expressing pleasure in the harmony that had existed between Westinghouse and MSC personnel and by praising the performance of the Gemini rendezvous radar, holding it up as an objective for excellence of performance for the lunar television camera.


1966 September 12 - . 14:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-11 / 62-12566.
  • Gemini 11 - . Call Sign: Gemini 11. Crew: Conrad; Gordon. Backup Crew: Anders; Armstrong. Payload: Gemini SC11. Mass: 3,798 kg (8,373 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Conrad; Gordon; Anders; Armstrong. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 11. Spacecraft: Gemini. Duration: 2.97 days. Decay Date: 1966-09-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 2415 . COSPAR: 1966-081A. Apogee: 280 km (170 mi). Perigee: 161 km (100 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. More highjinks with Conrad. First orbit docking with Agena, followed by boost up to record 800 km orbit, providing first manned views of earth as sphere. Tether attached by Gordon to Agena in spacewalk and after a lot of effort tethered spacecraft put into slow rotation, creating first artificial microgravity.

    The primary objective of the Gemini XI mission was to rendezvous with the Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) during the first revolution and dock. Five maneuvers completed the spacecraft/GATV rendezvous at 1 hour 25 minutes ground elapsed time, and the two vehicles docked nine minutes later. Secondary objectives included docking practice, extravehicular activity (EVA), 11 experiments, docked maneuvers, a tethered vehicle test, demonstrating automatic reentry, and parking the GATV. All objectives were achieved except one experiment - evaluation of the minimum reaction power tool - which was not performed because umbilical EVA was terminated prematurely. Umbilical EVA began at 24 hours 2 minutes ground elapsed time and ended 33 minutes later. Gordon became fatigued while attaching the tether from the GATV to the spacecraft docking bar. An hour later the hatch was opened to jettison equipment no longer required. At 40 hours 30 minutes after liftoff, the GATV primary propulsion system (PPS) was fired to raise the apogee of the docked vehicles to 741 nautical miles for two revolutions. The PPS was fired again, 3 hours 23 minutes later, to reduce apogee to 164 nautical miles. The crew then prepared for standup EVA, which began at 47 hours 7 minutes into the flight and lasted 2 hours 8 minutes. The spacecraft was then undocked to begin the tether evaluation. At 50 hours 13 minutes ground elapsed time, the crew initiated rotation. Initial oscillations damped out and the combination became very stable after about 20 minutes; the rotational rate was then increased. Again, initial oscillations gradually damped out and the combination stabilized. At about 53 hours into the mission, the crew released the tether, separated from the GATV, and maneuvered the spacecraft to an identical orbit with the target vehicle. A fuel cell stack failed at 54 hours 31 minutes, but the remaining five stacks shared the load and operated satisfactorily. A rerendezvous was accomplished at 66 hours 40 minutes ground elapsed time, and the crew then prepared for reentry.


1966 September 13 - .
  • EVA Gemini 11-2 - . Crew: Gordon. EVA Type: Internal Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0014 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gordon. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 11. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Threw excess equipment out of spacecraft..

1966 September 13 - . 14:44 GMT - .
  • EVA Gemini 11-1 - . Crew: Gordon. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0229 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gordon. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 11. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Retrieved micrometeoroid collector from Agena..

1966 September 14 - . 12:49 GMT - .
  • EVA Gemini 11-3 - . Crew: Gordon. EVA Type: Stand-Up External Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0903 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Gordon. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 11. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Photographed earth and stars..

1966 November 3 - . 13:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC40. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan 3C. LV Configuration: Titan IIIC 3C-9.
  • Gemini B - . Payload: Gemini SC2. Mass: 1,800 kg (3,900 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: USAF. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Gemini. COSPAR: 1966-099xx. During the ascent to orbit, the Gemini capsule atop the MOL Cannister was ejected and made a suborbital reentry and splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean. The spacecraft was the Gemini 2 reentry module, reused to test reentry with hatch cut into the heat shield. The capsule was successfully recovered and it was found that the reentry actually melted hatch shut, indicating that the design was valid for MOL.

1966 November 11 - . 20:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC19. LV Family: Titan. Launch Vehicle: Titan II GLV. LV Configuration: Titan II GLV GT-12 / 62-12567.
  • Gemini 12 - . Call Sign: Gemini 12. Crew: Aldrin; Lovell. Backup Crew: Cernan; Cooper. Payload: Gemini SC12. Mass: 3,763 kg (8,295 lb). Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin; Lovell; Cernan; Cooper. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 12. Spacecraft: Gemini; Gemini Radar. Duration: 3.94 days. Decay Date: 1966-11-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 2566 . COSPAR: 1966-104A. Apogee: 289 km (179 mi). Perigee: 250 km (150 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Two very serious astronauts get it all right to end the program. Docked and redocked with Agena, demonstrating various Apollo scenarios including manual rendezvous and docking without assistance from ground control. Aldrin finally demonstrates ability to accomplish EVA without overloading suit by use of suitable restraints and careful movement.

    Major objectives of the mission were to rendezvous and dock and to evaluate extravehicular activities (EVA). Among the secondary objectives were tethered vehicle evaluation, experiments, third revolution rendezvous and docking, automatic reentry demonstration, docked maneuvering for a high-apogee excursion, docking practice, systems tests, and Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) parking. The high-apogee excursion was not attempted because an anomaly was noted in the GATV primary propulsion system during insertion, and parking was not attempted because the GATV's attitude control gas was depleted. All other objectives were achieved. Nine spacecraft maneuvers effected rendezvous with the GATV. The onboard radar malfunctioned before the terminal phase initiate maneuver, but the crew used onboard backup procedures to calculate the maneuvers. Rendezvous was achieved at 3 hours 46 minutes ground elapsed time, docking 28 minutes later. Two phasing maneuvers, using the GATV secondary propulsion system, were accomplished, but the primary propulsion system was not used. The first of two periods of standup EVA began at 19 hours 29 minutes into the flight and lasted for 2 hours 29 minutes. During a more than two-hour umbilical EVA which began at 42 hours 48 minutes, Aldrin attached a 100-foot tether from the GATV to the spacecraft docking bar. He spent part of the period at the spacecraft adapter, evaluating various restraint systems and performing various basic tasks. The second standup EVA lasted 55 minutes, ending at 67 hours 1 minute ground elapsed time. The tether evaluation began at 47 hours 23 minutes after liftoff, with the crew undocking from the GATV. The tether tended to remain slack, although the crew believed that the two vehicles did slowly attain gravity-gradient stabilization. The crew jettisoned the docking bar and released the tether at 51 hours 51 minutes. Several spacecraft systems suffered problems during the flight. Two fuel cell stacks failed and had to be shut down, while two others experienced significant loss of power. At 39 hours 30 minutes ground elapsed time, the crew reported that little or no thrust was available from two orbit attitude and maneuver thrusters.


1966 November 12 - . 16:15 GMT - .
  • EVA Gemini 12-1 - . Crew: Aldrin. EVA Type: Stand-Up External Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.10 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 12. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Photographed earth and stars..

1966 November 13 - . 15:34 GMT - .
  • EVA Gemini 12-2 - . Crew: Aldrin. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0896 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 12. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Tested tools and techniques for extravehicular activity..

1966 November 14 - . 14:52 GMT - .
  • EVA Gemini 12-3 - . Crew: Aldrin. EVA Type: Stand-Up External Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0382 days. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 12. Spacecraft: Gemini. Summary: Photographed earth limb and stars in ultraviolet..

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