Encyclopedia Astronautica
Gemini



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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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Titan 2 Gemini
The Titan 2 ICBM was used for launch of the Gemini manned spacecraft.
Credit: NASA
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Gemini6 in orbit
Gemini6 in orbit view
Credit: NASA
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Gemini 6 in orbit
Gemini 6 in orbit view d
Credit: NASA
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Gemini6 in orbit
Gemini6 in orbit view e
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 Control Panel
Control panel of the basic Gemini (454 x 383 pixel image).
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 Control Panel
Control panel of the basic Gemini (903 x 765 pixel image).
Credit: NASA
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Gemini Paraglider
Credit: McDonnell Douglas
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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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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 centre panel and overhead controls.
Credit: NASA
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Gemini Transport
Gemini Transport version proposed as a Gemini program follow-on. With the extended re-entry module, this is the ancestor of the Big Gemini spacecraft proposed in the late 1960's.
Credit: McDonnell Douglas
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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 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 preflight
Gemini spacecraft being prepared in the shop.
Credit: NASA
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Mercury Gemini
Comparison of the Mercury and Gemini capsules.
Credit: © Mark Wade
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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-Agena
Gemini docked to Agena
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Gemini 2 view
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Atlas ATDA
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Gemini
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Gemini Spacecraft
Credit: © Mark Wade
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Gemini 6
View of Gemini 6 during the Gemini 6 and 7 first space rendezvous.
Credit: NASA
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.

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 manoeuvring, 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 manoeuvring 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 modularised 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 is 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-fertilisation in the rendezvous and docking areas. But it is 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.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Schirra Schirra, Walter Marty Jr 'Wally' (1923-2007) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MA-8, Gemini 6, Apollo 7. Member of first crew to rendezvous in space, and commander of first manned Apollo mission. Remembered both for practical jokes and uncompromising attention to detail. Flew 90 combat missions in the Korean War. More...
  • Grissom Grissom, Virgil Ivan 'Gus' (1926-1967) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MR-4, Gemini 3. Second American in space and first Gemini commander. Flew 100 combat missions in Korea. Died in on-pad fire of Apollo 1. More...
  • Cooper Cooper, Leroy Gordon Jr 'Gordo' (1927-2004) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Mercury MA-9, Gemini 5. First American to spend over a day in space. High spirited, and reportedly denied an Apollo assignment. More...
  • See See, Elliot McKay Jr (1927-1966) American test pilot astronaut, 1962-1966. Died in crash of his T-38 trainer into the McDonnell Aircraft plant. More...
  • Borman Borman, Frank Frederick II (1928-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 7, Apollo 8. Member of first crew to rendezvous in space, and first to orbit the moon. More...
  • Lovell Lovell, James Arthur Jr 'Shaky' (1928-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13. Member of first crew to rendezvous in space, and first to orbit the moon. Altitude (401,056 km) record. More...
  • McDivitt McDivitt, James Alton 'Jim' (1929-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 4, Apollo 9. Flew 145 combat missions during the Korean War. More...
  • Gordon Gordon, Richard Francis Jr 'Dick' (1929-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 11, Apollo 12. More...
  • Aldrin Aldrin, Edwin Eugene 'Buzz' (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 12, Apollo 11. Second person on the moon. More...
  • Conrad Conrad, Charles Peter Jr 'Pete' (1930-1999) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 5, Gemini 11, Apollo 12, Skylab 2. Third person on the moon. Only astronaut to fly Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab. Commander of first successful space station mission. More...
  • Armstrong Armstrong, Neil Alden (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 8, Apollo 11. First person to step onto the moon. Member of first crew to dock in space. More...
  • Stafford Stafford, Thomas Patten 'Tom' (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 6, Gemini 9, Apollo 10, Apollo (ASTP). Member of first crew to rendezvous in space. Space speed record (11,107 m/s). More...
  • Young Young, John Watts (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 3, Gemini 10, Apollo 10, Apollo 16, STS-1, STS-9. Only astronaut to fly Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle. Ninth person to walk on the moon. Space speed record (11,107 m/s). More...
  • Collins Collins, Michael 'Mike' (1930-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 10, Apollo 11. First space walk from one spacecraft to another. More...
  • White White, Edward Higgins II 'Ed' (1930-1967) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 4. First American to walk in space. Died in on-pad fire of Apollo 1. More...
  • Bean Bean, Alan LaVerne 'Al' (1932-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo 12, Skylab 3. Fourth person to walk on the moon. More...
  • Scott Scott, David Randolph 'Dave' (1932-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 8, Apollo 9, Apollo 15. Seventh person to walk on the moon. First to drive a lunar wheeled vehicle. Member of first crew to dock in space. More...
  • Williams, Clifton Williams, Clifton Curtis 'CC' (1932-1967) American test pilot astronaut, 1963-1967. US Marine Corps aviator. Died in crash of his T-38 trainer aircraft. More...
  • Anders Anders, William Alison 'Bill' (1933-) American pilot astronaut. Flew on Apollo 8. Member of first crew to orbit the moon. More...
  • Cernan Cernan, Eugene Andrew 'Gene' (1934-) American test pilot astronaut. Flew on Gemini 9, Apollo 10, Apollo 17. Eleventh person to walk on the moon and last person to step off of the moon. Space speed record (11,107 m/s). More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Gemini 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. More...
  • Atlas Target Docking Adapter American logistics spacecraft. One launch, 1966.06.01, Gemini 9 ATDA. An unpowered Gemini docking collar less the Agena rocket stage, launched one time by an Atlas when the Agena stage was not available. Fairing separation failed. 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 9A Crew: Bassett, See. Planned mission, cancelled when prime crew killed in T-38 trainer crash. All subsequent crew assignments were reshuffled. This ended up determining who would be the first man on the moon. Backup crew: Cernan, Stafford. 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
  • 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...
  • Atlas SLV-3 American orbital launch vehicle. Standardized Atlas booster with no or small solid upper stage. More...

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

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...

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 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.

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 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 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 - .
  • Presentation to STG on rendezvous and the lunar orbit rendezvous plan - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Chamberlin. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini LOR. John C. Houbolt of Langley Research Center made a presentation to STG on rendezvous and the lunar orbit rendezvous plan. At this time James A. Chamberlin of STG requested copies of all of Houbolt's material because of the pertinence of this work to the Mercury Mark II program and other programs then under consideration.

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 December 6 - .
  • Preliminary project plan for the Mercury Mark II program - . Nation: USA. Related Persons: Holmes, Brainard; Seamans. Program: Gemini. Spacecraft: Gemini LOR. D. Brainerd Holmes, NASA Director of Manned Space Flight, outlined the preliminary project development plan for the Mercury Mark II program in a memorandum to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The primary objective of the program was to develop rendezvous techniques; important secondary objectives were long-duration flights, controlled land recovery, and astronaut training. The development of rendezvous capability, Holmes stated, was essential:

    • It offered the possibility of accomplishing a manned lunar landing earlier than by direct ascent.
    • The lunar landing maneuver would require the development of rendezvous techniques regardless of the operational mode selected for the lunar mission.
    • Rendezvous and docking would be necessary to the Apollo orbiting laboratory missions planned for the 1965-1970 period.
    The plan was approved by Seamans on December 7. The Mercury Mark II program was renamed "Gemini" on January 3, 1962.

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 - . 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 - . 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 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 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.

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 - .
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 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 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 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 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 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.

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 May 5 - .
  • Landing point error of Gemini 3 discussed. - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 3. Summary: Discussing the landing point error of Gemini 3, Charles W. Mathews told the Gemini Management Panel that the spacecraft had developed a smaller angle of attack than planned and that the lift capability had been less than wind tunnel tests had indicated. .

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 June 7 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 4 - . Return Crew: McDivitt; White. Nation: USA. Related Persons: McDivitt; White. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 4. Gemini 4 landed at 17:11 GMT in the Atlantic Ocean about 725 km east of Cape Kennedy - some 65 km from its nominal landing point due to failure of its guidance computer. 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. Additional Details: here....

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 29 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 5 - . Return Crew: Conrad; Cooper. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Conrad; Cooper. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 5. The crew had to use the re-entry thrusters to orient the spacecraft due to OAMS system failures. The retrofire and re-entry were conducted in darkness by the spacecraft computer. However the computer had been misprogrammed with an erroneous rotation rate of the earth (390 degrees per day instead of 360.98 degrees per day). Cooper's efforts compensated for what he recognized as an erroneous reading and brought the capsule down closer to the ship than they would otherwise have been.

1965 October 25 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena D 5301 / Agena D 5002. FAILURE: Exploded 6 minutes after takeoff. Failure.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Gemini 6 Agena Target - . Payload: TDA-2. Mass: 3,261 kg (7,189 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 6; Gemini 7. Spacecraft: Gemini Agena Target Vehicle. Decay Date: 1965-10-25 . COSPAR: F651025A. Summary: The Agena target vehicle failed to reach orbit. Gemini 6, awaiting launch, was cancelled. In the ashes of this setback, the idea of launching Gemini 6 to rendezvous with Gemini 7 was born..

1965 October 26 - .
  • Thoughts on Gemini 6 - . Nation: USSR. Program: Gemini; Soyuz. Flight: Gemini 6. Kamanin notes the aborted first launch attempt of Gemini 6, but expects the Americans to achieve the first space docking, using the crew as pilots to fly the spacecraft. He curses Korolev and Keldysh for wasting three years trying to develop a fully automated system for Soyuz, which has put the Soviet Union well behind the Americans. He does not see any equivalent Soviet achievement until the end of 1966...

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 12 - .
  • Gemini 6 pad abort - . Nation: USA. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 6; Gemini 7. Summary: The Titan 2 engines shut down a moment after ignition. The fault that caused the Titan to shut down saved the astronaut's lives; the quick thinking of the astronauts in not pulling the abort handles saved the mission..

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.


1965 December 16 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 6 - . Return Crew: Schirra; Stafford. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Schirra; Stafford. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 6; Gemini 7. Gemini 6 splashed down near the aircraft carrier Wasp at 15:28 GMT. The capsule was lifted to the carrier deck with the crew aboard. When the hatch doors were opened, the spacemen gave the thumbs-up while the Navy band crashed in with 'Anchors Aweigh'. It was the first recovery carried live via satellite television.

1965 December 18 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 7 - . Return Crew: Borman; Lovell. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Borman; Lovell. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 7. Summary: Gemini 7 landed at 14:05 GMT only 11.8 km from the target point after a record 14 day mission...

1966 March 16 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena D 5302 / Agena D 5003.
  • Gemini 8 Agena Target - . Payload: TDA 3/Agena D 5003 GATV. Mass: 3,175 kg (6,999 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 8. Spacecraft: Gemini Agena Target Vehicle. Decay Date: 1967-09-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 2104 . COSPAR: 1966-019A. Apogee: 299 km (185 mi). Perigee: 285 km (177 mi). Inclination: 28.9000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. Summary: Target vehicle for Gemini 8..

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 May 17 - . 15:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena D 5303 / Agena D 5004. FAILURE: Control system failure.. Failed Stage: G.
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 1 - . 15:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas SLV-3. LV Configuration: Atlas SLV-3 5304.
  • Gemini 9 ATDA - . Payload: TDA 4. Mass: 794 kg (1,750 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 9. Spacecraft: Atlas Target Docking Adapter. Decay Date: 1966-06-11 . USAF Sat Cat: 2186 . COSPAR: 1966-046A. Apogee: 296 km (183 mi). Perigee: 292 km (181 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. The ATDA achieved a near-circular orbit (apogee 161.5, perigee 158.5 nautical miles). One hour and 40 minutes later, the scheduled launch of Gemini IX-A was postponed by a ground equipment failure which prevented the transfer of updating information from Cape Kennedy mission control center to the spacecraft computer. The mission was recycled for launch on June 3, following a prepared 48-hour recycle plan. Anomalous telemetry indicated some sort of problem with the target, but it was not until Gemini IX rendezvoused with it in orbit that it was seen that fairing separation had failed.

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 June 6 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 9 - . Return Crew: Cernan; Stafford. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Cernan; Stafford. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 9. Following the third sleep period, the crew prepared for retrofire, which was initiated during the 45th revolution. The spacecraft landed at 13:59 GMTwithin 1.6 km of the primary recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp. The crew remained with the spacecraft, which was hoisted aboard 53 minutes after landing.

1966 July 18 - . 20:39 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena D 5305 / Agena D 5005.
  • Gemini 10 Agena Target - . Payload: TDA 1A/Agena D 5005 GATV. Mass: 3,175 kg (6,999 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 10. Spacecraft: Gemini Agena Target Vehicle. Decay Date: 1966-12-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 2348 . COSPAR: 1966-065A. Apogee: 296 km (183 mi). Perigee: 290 km (180 mi). Inclination: 28.9000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. Summary: Space craft engaged in investigation of spaceflight techniques and technology (US Cat A). .

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 July 21 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 10 - . Return Crew: Collins; Young. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Collins; Young. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 10. The retrofire maneuver was initiated at 70 hours 10 minutes after liftoff, during the 43rd revolution. The spacecraft landed at 21:06 GMT within sight of the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Guadalcanal, some 5 km from the planned landing point on July 21.

1966 September 12 - . 13:05 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena D 5306 / Agena D 5006.
  • Gemini 11 Agena Target - . Payload: TDA 6/Agena D 5006 GATV. Mass: 3,175 kg (6,999 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 11. Spacecraft: Gemini Agena Target Vehicle. Decay Date: 1966-12-30 . USAF Sat Cat: 2414 . COSPAR: 1966-080A. Apogee: 298 km (185 mi). Perigee: 298 km (185 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 90.40 min. Summary: Docking target for Gemini 11..

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 September 15 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 11 - . Return Crew: Conrad; Gordon. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Conrad; Gordon. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 11. The spacecraft landed at 13:59 GMT less than 5 km from the planned landing point at 71 hours 17 minutes after liftoff. The crew was retrieved by helicopter, and the spacecraft was brought aboard the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Guam, about an hour after landing.

1966 November 11 - . 19:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC14. LV Family: Atlas. Launch Vehicle: Atlas Agena D SLV-3. LV Configuration: SLV-3 Agena D 5307 / Agena D 5001R.
  • Gemini 12 Agena Target - . Payload: TDA 7A/Agena D 5001R GATV. Mass: 3,175 kg (6,999 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: NASA Houston. Program: Gemini. Class: Manned. Type: Manned logistics spacecraft. Flight: Gemini 12. Spacecraft: Gemini Agena Target Vehicle. Decay Date: 1966-12-23 . USAF Sat Cat: 2565 . COSPAR: 1966-103A. Apogee: 310 km (190 mi). Perigee: 243 km (150 mi). Inclination: 28.8000 deg. Period: 89.90 min. Summary: Docking target for Gemini 12..

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..

1966 November 15 - .
  • Landing of Gemini 12 - . Return Crew: Aldrin; Lovell. Nation: USA. Related Persons: Aldrin; Lovell. Program: Gemini. Flight: Gemini 12. Retrofire occurred 94 hours after liftoff. Reentry was automatically controlled. The spacecraft landed at 19:20 GMT less than 5 km from the planned landing point on November 15. The crew was picked up by helicopter and deposited 28 minutes later on the deck of the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Wasp. The spacecraft was recovered 67 minutes after landing.

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