Encyclopedia Astronautica
1964.11.30 - Lockheed shipped Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) 5001 to its Santa Cruz Test Base for captive-firing tests.


Primary test objective was verifying the operational capabilities of the GATV during actual firing of the primary and secondary propulsion systems.

Other objectives included developing operational procedures and techniques for vehicle handling, launch preparation, servicing, countdown, and postfire servicing, as well as verifying ground equipment peculiar to the Gemini program, including the pulse-code-modulated telemetry ground station. The target docking adapter (TDA), manufactured by McDonnell, was also to be installed and tested as an integral system. When the TDA was hoisted into the test stand on December 17 to be physically mated with the GATV, the interface between the two vehicles emerged as a major problem. After some preliminary difficulties, the physical mate was accomplished, but discrepancies were discovered in wiring continuity. The captive flight test was delayed until January 20, 1965.

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