Gemini Program Fact Sheet
Gemini Goals: The second U.S. manned space program was announced in January 1962.
Its two-man crew gave it its name, Gemini, for the third constellation of the Zodiac and its twin stars, Castor and Pollux. Gemini
involved 12 flights, including two unmanned flight tests of the equipment. Like Mercury's, its major objectives were clear-cut:
-To subject man and equipment to space flight up to two weeks in duration.
-To rendezvous and dock with orbiting vehicles and to maneuver the docked combination by using the target vehicle's propulsion
- To verify mans ability to perform tasks in space, Extra Vehicular Activity space walk;
- To perfect methods of entering the atmosphere and landing at a preselected point on land. Its goals were also met, with the exception
of a land landing, which was cancelled in 1964.
Fuel Cell- new technology, very complicated, will it work in Space?
Control Thrusters- Variable thrust and control, never used in space
Ejection Seats- only Spacecraft to use, is it safe?
Gemini Spacecraft- The spacecraft was an enlargement of the familiar Mercury capsule--5.8m (19 ft) long, 3m (10 ft) in diameter, and
about 3810 kilograms (8400 pounds) in weight. Engineering changes simplified maintenance and made it more maneuverable for the
pilots. The Titan II rocket, more powerful than the Redstone, placed the larger spacecraft into orbit.
Sometimes referred to as Gemini-Titan for the craft and its launch vehicle, each flight was designated by a Roman numeral. Only the
first capsule was nicknamed; Command Pilot Virgil Grissom called it the Molly Brown in reference to his Mercury spacecraft that
Orbit: Altitude: 320km x 160.3km
– Inclination: xxx degrees
– Orbits: 64
– Duration: 4 Days, hours, min, seconds
– Distance: km
Launch: April 8, 1964 11:00:01.69 am EST.
Successful orbital test of the Titan-II launch vehicle, spacecraft structural integrity and launch vehicle spacecraft compatibility.
Unmanned, no plan to recover. Mission terminated after 3 orbits and spacecraft disintegrated 3.5 days after launch). All primary and
secondary objectives achieved.
Orbit: Altitude: 171.1 km (92.4nm)
Duration: 0 Days, 0 hours, 18 min, 16 seconds
Distance: 3422.4km (1848 nm)
Mission Highlights: Demonstrate reentry heat protection during maximum heating reentry; Demonstrate structural integrity of
spacecraft; Demonstrate satisfactory performance of major subsystems; Demonstrate checkout and launch procedures; Evaluate
backup guidance steering signals through launch.
Secondary objectives included: Obtain test results on fuel cell and reactant supply, cryogenics, and communications systems;
Demonstrate and further flight-qualify GLV and spacecraft from countdown thru insertion. Train flight controllers and qualify ground
communications tracking system.
The Titan II/Gemini launch vehicle had to be dismantled to protect it from 2 hurricanes in August and September of 1964. The 2nd
stage of the vehicle was taken down and stored in a hanger on 26 August 1964 in preparation for Hurricane Cleo, but the entire launch
vehicle was dismantled and removed from Pad 19 in early September before Hurricane Dora passed over the Cape on September 9th.
The Gemini launch vehicle was erected for the final time on Pad 19 on 12 September 1964
Virgil I. Grissom (2), commander
John W. Young (1), pilot
March 23, 1965 9:24:00.064 am EST. There was one brief hold on launch day while a sensor on an oxidizer line was adjusted.
Inclination: 33.0 degrees
Duration: 0 Days, 4 hours, 52 min, 31 seconds
Landing: March 23, 1965. Landing at 22deg26m North and 70deg 51min West. Miss distance from landing zone 111.1km (60nm).
Recovered by USS Intrepid. Crew onboard in 70 min.
Demonstrate manned orbital flight; evaluate two-man design. Demonstrate and evaluate tracking network. Demonstrate OAMS
capability in orbital maneuvers and in retrofire backup. Demonstrate controlled reentry and landing. Evaluate major spacecraft
subsystems. Demonstrate systems checkout, prelaunch, and launch procedures. Demonstrate and evaluate recovery procedures and
systems. Spacecraft weight: 3225kg.
Secondary objectives included: Evaluate flight crew equipment, biomedical instrumentation, and personal hygiene system. Perform 3
experiments. Evaluate low-level longitudinal oscillations (Pogo) of the GLV. General photographic coverage in orbit.
James A. McDivitt (1), Commander
Edward H. White II (1), Pilot
June 3, 1965 10:15:59.562 am.
Altitude: 296.1 km (159.9nm)
Inclination: 32.5 degrees
Duration: 4 Days, 1 hour, 56 min, 12 seconds
Landing: June 7, 1965. Landing was at 27deg 44min North and 74deg 11min West. Landing was 81.4km from attempted landing
Mission Objectives: Evaluate effects of prolonged space flight. Demonstrate and evaluate performance of spacecraft and systems in 4-
day flight. Evaluate procedures for crew rest and work cycles, eating schedules, and realtime flight planning. Spacecraft weight:
3574kg. Secondary objectives included: Demonstrate and evaluate EVA and control by use of HHMU and tether. Station keep and
rendezvous with second stage of GLV. Evaluate spacecraft systems. Make in-and-out-of plane maneuvers. Further test OAMS retro
backup capability. Perform 11 experiments.
Mission Highlights: Gemini-4 was NASA's 1st Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) operation.
EVA time 36min. All but one primary objectives were achieved. Computer controlled reentry in the demonstration and evaluation
of spacecraft systems objective was not flown because of inadvertent alteration of computer memory. All secondary objectives were
met except one. The secondary objective of station keeping and rendezvous was only partially successful because separation and
rendezvous was not attempted due to fuel consumption.
C. Gordon Cooper (2), Commander
Charles Conrad, Jr (1), Pilot
August 21, 1965; 8:59:59.518am EST. A launch attempt on August 19 was postponed due to weather conditions and problems with
loading cryogenic fuel for the fuel cell.
Altitude: 349.8 km
Inclination: 32.61 degrees
Duration: 7 Days, 22 hours, 55 min, 14 seconds
Landing: August 29, 1965. Landing was at 29deg44min North and 69deg 45min West. Miss distance was 170.3km (92nm). Navy
divers from the backup recovery ship USS DuPont (DD-941) recovered the crew and transfered them via helicopter to the USS Lake
Champlain (crew onboard in 89 min).
During the mission, problems developed with the fuel cell that precluded rendezvous with the radar evaluation pod (REP). Primary
rendezvous G&N system with REP objective was not achieved. REP rendezvous was not attempted due to a decision to power down
Secondary objective to demonstrate controlled reentry guidance was not achieved due to incorrect navigation coordinates transmitted
to the spacecraft computer from the ground. This caused an 89mile overshoot of the landing zone. Experiment D-2, Nearby Object
Photography was not conducted when REP rendezvous was canceled.
Walter M. Schirra Jr., Commander
Thomas P. Stafford, Pilot
Dec 15, 1965 8:37:26.471 am EST.
Launch was successful after the third attempt. This mission was originally intended to be the first mission to dock with an Agena
Target Vehicle, but the Agena exploded 6 minutes after its launch on October 25, 1965 and the mission was cancelled. Plans were
changed then. Now the main goal was a rendezvous of two Gemini spacecrafts in space. The flight plan was changed two, now the
next mission was Gemini 7 and Gemini 6 was now named Gemini 6A.
Altitude: 311.3km (168.1 nm)
Inclination: 28.89 degrees
Duration: 1 Day, 1 hour, 51 min, 24 seconds
Landing: December 16, 1965. Landing was at 23deg 35min North and 67deg 50min West. Miss distance was 12.9km (7nm).
Recovered by the USS Wasp (crew onboard in 66min).
Mission Objectives: Primary objective was to rendezvous with Gemini VII. Secondary objectives included: Perform
closed-loop rendezvous in fourth orbit. Stationkeep with Gemini VII. Evaluate reentry guidance capability. Conduct visibility tests
for rendezvous, using Gemini VII as target. Perform 3 experiments. Spacecraft weight 3546kg.
Agena Target Vehicle: The Gemini Agena Target Vehicle was designed to be launched into Earth orbit prior to a Gemini mission
and used for rendezvous and docking practice. The GATV had a docking cone at the forward end into which the nose of the Gemini
spacecraft could be inserted and held with docking latches. The GATV was a 6 meter long cylinder with a diameter of 4.9 meters.
The primary and secondary propulsion systems were at the back end of the target vehicle with the attitude control gas tanks and the
main propellant tanks. The docking cone was connected to the front end by shock absorbing dampers. Acquisition running lights and
target vehicle status display indicators were situated on the front end. A 2.1 meter long retractable L-band boom antenna extended
from the side of the cylinder near the front. Tracking and command of the GATV were also aided by a rendezvous beacon, two spiral
L-band antennas, two tracking antennas (C-band and S-band), two VHF telemetry antennas, and a UHF command antenna.
Micrometeoroid packages and other experiments could also be mounted on the GATV.
Frank Borman, Commander
James A. Lovell, Pilot
December 4, 1965 2:30:03.702 pm EST
Altitude: 327km (177.1 nm)
Inclination: 28.89 degrees
Duration: 13 Days, 18 hours, 35 min, 1 seconds
Landing: December 18, 1965. Landed at 25deg 25.1min North, 70.6deg 7minst Miss distance was 11.8km (6.4nm).
Mission Objectives: Primary object was to conduct 14 day mission and evaluate effects on crew. Secondary objectives included:
Provide target for Gemini VI A. Station keep with Gemini VI A and with second stage of GLV. Conduct 20 experiments. Evaluate
lightweight pressure suit. Evaluate spacecraft reentry capability. Conduct systems tests. Spacecraft weight: 3663kg. All primary and
secondary objectives were achieved.
Neil A. Armstrong (Commander)
David R Scott (Pilot)
Launch: March 16, 1966. 11:41:02.389. There was a one day delay in launching the spacecraft due to minor problems with the
spacecraft and launch vehicle hardware.
Altitude: 298.7km (161.3 nm)
Inclination: 28.91 degrees
Duration: 0 Days, 10 hours, 41 min, 26 seconds
Landing: March 17, 1966. Landing was at 25deg 13.8min North and 136deg 0min East. Pacific Ocean. Recovered by the USS Mason
(crew onboard in 3 hours).
Launch from Cape Canaveral; landing 800 km southeast of Okinawa in the Pacific Ocean. The main goals of this mission were, to
accomplish a rendezvous and docking with the prelaunched Agena Target Vehicle (GATV 8) and to perform again a spacewalk.
The first orbital docking was accomplished without any problems, but then the Gemini capsule with the docked GATV 8
began rolling uncontrolled and continuously because of problems with the spacecraft control system (thrusters sticking
probably of an electrical short). That problem was never faced in a simulation, so the crew was forced to undock, but the
problems continued and were serious. After separation, loosing the mass of the Agena, the Gemini spacecraft began to roll
even faster. It reached one revolution per second. The only thing to do was turn off the OAMS and switch to the reentry
control system, which prompted in an early landing. So the planned EVA was not performed. Armstrong's calm-headedness
and his ability to recover from an extremely dangerous space emergency saved the crew. The crew was recovered by the USS
Leonard F. Mason. Three hours after landing the Mason had the spacecraft on board.
Crew: Thomas P. Stafford, Commander
Eugene A. Cernan, Pilot
Note: The original Gemini 9, astronauts Elliot M. See Jr. , command pilot, and Charles A. Bassett II, pilot
died in plane crash 4 months prior to launch.
Launch: June 3, 1966 8:39:33.335 am EST. GT-9 was postponed when TLV 5303 with Gemini Agena target vehicle GATV-5004
malfunctioned on May 17. In its place, a substitute target was used for GT-9A; the Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA)
was launched by an Atlas on June 1, 1966 (TLV-5304) from Launch Complex 14. However, GT-9A was not launched the
same day as planned due to a guidance system computer problem. After a brief hold, the spacecraft was launched on the 3rd day.
Orbit: Altitude: 311.5km (168nm)
Inclination: 28.86 degrees
Duration: 72 hours, 20 min, 50 seconds
Landing: June 6, 1966. Landing was at 27deg 52min N and 75deg 0.4min West. Miss distance .704 miles (.38nm). Recovery ship USS
Wasp (crew onboard in 52 min).
Mission Highlights: Primary objective of rendezvous and docking was only partially achieved because the shroud on the ATDA failed
to jettison. Instead GT-9A performed a number of rendezvous maneuvers, including a simulation of lunar module rendezvous. EVA
time was 2 hours, 9 minutes, a new EVA endurance record. During EVA maneuvers, Cernan's visor became fogged, and he was
unable to test the Air Force astronaut maneuvering unit. Secondary objective experiment S-10, Agena Micrometerorite Collection
experiment was not attempted because EVA did not take place near Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV).
Crew: John W. Young commander
Michael Collins pilot
Launch: July 18, 1966. 5:20:26.648 am EST
Orbit: Altitude: 753.3 km (412.2 nm)
Inclination: 28.85 degrees
Duration: 70 hours 46 min 39 seconds
Distance: 1,968,823 km
Landing: July 21, 1966. 4:07:05 pm. Landing was at 26deg 44.7min North and 71deg 57min West. Miss distance was 6.2km (3.4
Mission Objectives: Primary objective was to rendezvous and dock with Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV-5005) launched as
TLV-5305 from Complex 14 on 7/18/66. Secondary objectives included: Rendezvous and dock in 4th revolution. Rendezvous with
Gemini Agena target vehicle GATV-8 using Agena propulsion systems, Conduct EVA, Practice docking, Perform 14 experiments,
Perform system evaluation on bending-mode tests; docked maneuvers; static discharge; monitoring; post-docked Agena maneuvers;
reentry guidance; park Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) in 352 km (190.3 nm) orbit. Spacecraft weight: 3763kg. GATV weight:
8097kg. Mission Highlights: 1 hour, 29 min. EVA. All primary objectives and most secondary objectives were met. The practice
docking secondary objective and some experiments were canceled due to insufficient fuel reserves.
Crew: Charles Conrad Jr. Commander
Richard F. Gordon Jr. Pilot
Launch: September 12, 1966 9:42:26.546 am EST. The launch was postponed twice; On September 9 due to a small leak in the first
stage oxidizer tank of the GLV; and on the 10th due to a suspected malfunction of the autopilot on the GLV. On the
day of the launch there was a 16 min hold due to a suspected leak around the command pilot’s hatch.
Orbit: Altitude: 1368.9 km (739.2nm)
Inclination: 28.83 degrees
Duration: 71 hours 17 min 8 seconds
Distance: 1,983,565 km
Landing: September 15, 1966. Landing was at 24deg 15.4min North and 70deg 0.0min West. Miss distance was 4.9km (2.65nm).
Recovery ship USS Guam (crew onboard in 24 min).
Mission Highlights: All Primary objectives and most secondary objectives were achieved. Experiment D-16, Power Tool Evaluation
was canceled when the EVA was terminated early. During EVA, astronaut Gordon tethered the two spacecraft together with a 30-
meter line. Automatic reentry was successful. Of note: 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.
Crew: James A. Lovell Jr., Commander
Edwin E. Aldrin, Pilot
Launch: November 11, 1966 3:46:33.419 pm EST.
Orbit: Altitude: 301.3 km (162.7nm)
Inclination: 28.78 degrees
Duration: 94 hours, 34 min, 31 seconds
Distance: 2,574,950 km
Landing: Nov 15, 1966. Landed at 24deg 35min North 69deg 57min West. Miss distance was 4.8km (2.6 nm)
Mission Highlights: EVA time 5 hours, 30 min. All primary objectives and most secondary objectives were met. Docked maneuvers
were canceled due to a propulsion anomaly during Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV) insertion. The GATV was not placed in a
555.6km orbit because its attitude control gas was depleted by earlier maneuvers. Of note: First completely successful space walk.
mission launch recovery duration orbits crew
Gemini 1 Apr. 8, 1964 - - - unmanned
Gemini 2 Jan. 19, 1965 - - - unmanned
Gemini 3 1965 Mar. 23, 1965 4 hr 53 min 3 Grissom, Young
Gemini 4 Jun. 3, 1965 Jun. 7, 1965 4 days 2 hr 62 McDivitt, White
Gemini 5 Aug. 21, 1965 Aug. 29, 1965 8 days 120 Conrad, Cooper
Gemini 7 Dec. 4, 1965 Dec. 18, 1965 13 days 19 hr 206 Borman, Lovell
1 days 1 hr 52
Gemini 6A Dec. 15, 1965 Dec. 16, 1965 min 16 Schirra, Stafford
Gemini 8 1966 Mar. 16, 1966 10 hr 41 min 7 Armstrong, Scott
3 days 0 hr 21
Gemini 9A Jun. 3, 1966 Jun. 6, 1966 min 44 Cernan, Stafford
2 days 22 hr 46
Gemini 10 Jul. 18, 1966 Jul. 21, 1966 min 43 Collins, Young
2 days 23 hr 17
Gemini 11 Sep. 12, 1966 Sep. 15, 1966 min 44 Conrad, Gordon
Gemini 12 Nov. 11, 1966 Nov. 15, 1966 3 days 23 hr 59 Aldrin, Lovell