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Gemini Program

the intermediate step toward achieving a manned lunar landing

Gemini Program Patch

The Gemini Program was announced by NASA on December 7, 1961, and was officially designated Gemini on January 3, 1962. It was named after the third constellation of the zodiac, featuring the twin stars Castor and Pollux.

Major objectives achieved during the program included demonstration that man can perform effectively during extended periods in space, both within and outside the protective environment of a spacecraft, development of rendezvous and docking techniques, and perfection of controlled reentry and landing procedures.

Missions and Crews

The Gemini Program consisted of a total of 19 launches -- 2 initial uncrewed test missions, 7 target vehicles, and 10 crewed missions, each of which carried two astronauts to Earth orbit.

Mission Launch Date Reentry Date Crew Mission Notes
Gemini I April 8, 1964 April 12, 1964 none  
Gemini II January 19, 1965 January 19, 1965 none  
Gemini III March 23, 1965 March 23, 1965 Gus Grissom, John Young first manned Gemini flight and first U.S. two-man mission
Gemini IV June 3, 1965 June 7, 1965 James McDivitt, Ed White Ed White performed first spacewalk by an American (22 minutes)
Gemini V August 21, 1965 August 29, 1965 Gordon Cooper, Pete Conrad first use of fuel cells for electrical power; prepared for future rendezvous missions by testing guidance and navigation systems
Gemini VI December 15, 1965 December 16, 1965 Walter Schirra, Thomas Stafford completed first space rendezvous with Gemini VII
Gemini VII December 4, 1965 December 18, 1965 Frank Borman, Jim Lovell last-minute rendezvous target for Gemini VI when Agena failed; verified that humans could live in space for up to 14 days
Gemini VIII March 16, 1966 March 16, 1966 Neil Armstrong, David Scott first to dock with another spacecraft; an attitude adjustor malfunctioned, causing the spacecraft to spin uncontrollably; first emergency return of U.S. spacecraft
Gemini IX June 3, 1966 June 6, 1966 Tom Stafford, Gene Cernan failed docking attempt with augmented target docking adapter; completed three types of rendezvous and two hours of spacewalking
Gemini X July 18, 1966 July 21, 1966 John Young, Michael Collins first time Agena's propulsion system used to rendezvous; rendezvoused with Gemini VIII target vehicle
Gemini XI September 12, 1966 September 15, 1966 Pete Conrad, Richard Gordon Agena propulsion system used to reach a record altitude of 1,189.3 kilometers; rendezvoused and docked with Agena during both spacecraft's first orbit
Gemini XII November 11, 1966 November 15, 1966 Jim Lovell, Buzz Aldrin rendezvoused and docked with Agena target vehicle; Aldrin set a spacewalk record of 5 hours, 30 minutes

Link of Interest

Planetary Science Home Page Goddard Space Flight Center

See Also

The Gemini Spacecraft
Gus Grissom
John Young
James McDivitt
Ed White
Pete Conrad
Thomas Stafford
Frank Borman
Neil Armstrong
David Scott
Michael Collins
Gene Cernan
Richard Gordon
Buzz Aldrin

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This page was last updated on 12/11/2018.