Nothing But the Facts About NASA's Project Gemini - by John Sinitsky

Nothing But the Facts About NASA's Project Gemini - by John Sinitsky
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Gemini Project Images

Gemini 6 seen from Gemini 7

Gemini Capsule chart

Gemini VIII launch

The Facts

Gemini Program Period: The Gemini Program operated from 1965 to 1966

Primary Mission Objective: Testing the crew and equipment for long-term space flights

Secondary Mission Objectives: Docking orbiting vehicles, vehicle navigation, mastering atmospheric entry, landing in pre-selected site, extra-vehicular activity

Goal achieved: June, 7 1965 (Gemini IV)

Name Origin: Gemini – third constellation of Zodiac, featuring twin stars Castor and Pollux (the spacecrafts were designed for a crew of 2)

Program Cost: 5.4 billion (2007)

Spacecraft Crew: Two – command pilot, pilot

Spacecraft Designed By: Jim Chamberlin, Canadian aerospace engineer

Spacecraft Dimensions: Diameter 10 ft (3.05m), Volume 90 cubic feet (2.55 cubic meters)

Spacecraft Weight: 8490 lb (3851kg)

Spacecraft Maximum Duration: 14 days

Spacecraft Orbital Apogee: 250 miles (402 km)

Spacecraft Orbital Perigee: 100 miles (160 km)

Boosters: Titan II rockets

Total Spacecraft Produced: 12, by McDonnel Aircraft company

Robotic Flights: 2

First Unmanned Flight: April 8-12, 1964

First Unmanned Flight Duration: 3 days, 23 hours

Manned Flights: 10

First Manned Flight: March 23, 1965

First Manned Flight Duration: 4 hours, 52 minutes, 31 seconds

First Manned Flight Mission: Gemini -Titan III

First Manned Flight Crew: Virgil Ivan “Grus” Grisson, John Watts Young

Second Manned Flight: June 3-7 1965

Second Manned Flight Duration: 4 days 1 hour 56minutes 20 seconds

Second Manned Flight Crew: James Alton McDivitt, Edward Higgins White II – first American to walk in space (22 minutes EVA)

Notable Mission: Gemini VIII – first docking in space

Gemini VIII Crew: Neil Alden Armstrong, David Randolph Scott

Last Flight: November 11-15, 1966

Last Flight Duration: 3 day 22 hours 34 minutes 31 seconds

Last Flight Mission: Gemini XII

Last Flight Crew: James Arthur Lovell, Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin. – record EVA (5 hours 30 minutes)

Interesting data

NASA and USAF were initially required to have a joint control of the program, but later the supervision was handed solely to NASA.

Gemini was the first American space mission to have an onboard computer.

A member of Mercury-7 group, astronaut Gus Grissom was heavily involved in the Gemini program.

All but one Gemini vehicle (Gemini 1 was destroyed) are exhibited in various venues in the US – including US Air Force museum and NASA museum.