Encyclopedia Astronautica
1964.04.13 - Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD) recommended a Gemini Agena launch on a nonrendezvous mission to improve confidence in target vehicle performance before undertaking a rendezvous mission.


Gemini Project Office (GPO) rejected this plan, regarding it as impractical within current schedule, launch sequence, and cost restraints.

GPO accepted, however, SSD's alternate recommendation that one target vehicle be designated a development test vehicle (DTV) to permit more extensive subsystems and systems testing, malfunction studies, and modifications at the Lockheed plant. Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) 5001 was designated the DTV, but GPO insisted that it be maintained in flight status until the program office authorized its removal. All previously planned tests were still necessary to demonstrate satisfactory performance of GATV 5001 as a flight vehicle. GATV 5001 was the first Agena for the Gemini program.

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