Encyclopedia Astronautica
Gemini B AM



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Gemini B
Gemini B cross-section
Credit: McDonnell Douglas
American manned spacecraft module. Cancelled 1969. Adapter module for Gemini B, the engines serving as both abort motors during ascent to orbit and for retrofire on return to earth. Abort/deorbit propulsion.

Changes to the Gemini adapter module included:

  • A transition tunnel led from the hatch in the heat shield of the Gemini B to the MOL pressurized quarters.
  • In the absence of the equipment module, the adapter module was longer in order to flare out to meet the 3.05 m diameter of the MOL.
  • The OAMS maneuvering thrusters of the NASA Gemini were deleted. Spacecraft orientation in orbit was handled by the forward RCS thrusters.
  • The number of solid propellant retrofire motors was increased from four to six. These served double-duty: for deorbit of the Gemini B and as abort rockets for separation of the Gemini from the enormous Titan 3M in case of launch vehicle failure.

Orbital Storage: 40 days. Spacecraft delta v: 140 m/s (450 ft/sec).

AKA: Adapter Module.
Gross mass: 1,868 kg (4,118 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 1,718 kg (3,787 lb).
Height: 1.56 m (5.11 ft).
Diameter: 2.32 m (7.61 ft).
Specific impulse: 255 s.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • MOL American manned space station. Cancelled 1969. MOL (Manned Orbiting Laboratory) was the US Air Force's manned space project after Dynasoar was cancelled, until it in turn was cancelled in 1969. The earth orbit station used a helium-oxygen atmosphere. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • 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...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • USAF American agency overseeing development of rockets and spacecraft. United States Air Force, USA. More...
  • McDonnell American manufacturer of spacecraft. McDonnell, St Louis, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • Solid Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. Solid propellants have the fuel and oxidiser embedded in a rubbery matrix. They were developed to a high degree of perfection in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's. In Russia, development was slower, due to a lack of technical leadership in the area and rail handling problems. More...

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