The Gemini missions

The History of the 12 Gemini missions by: Ashwin Suresh

Gemini missions:

  • Project Gemini was NASA's second human space flight program.
  • The Gemini program started in 1962 and concluded in 1966.
  • Project Gemini launched 12 aircrafts into Earth's orbit.
  • The first 2 aircrafts were unmanned while the remaining 10 aircrafts had 2 astronaut crew who flew low Earth orbit missions.
  • The objective of the Gemini program was to develop travel techniques to support Apollo's mission to land on the Moon and back to Earth.

Goals of the Gemini missions

The Gemini missions had 4 main goals:

  • Test an astronaut's ability to fly long duration missions ( up to two weeks in space).
  • Understand how a spacecraft could rendezvous and dock in orbit around the Earth and the Moon.
  • Perfect re entry and landing methods.
  • Understand the effects of longer space flight on astronauts.

Gemini 1

  • Gemini-1 also called Gemini Titan 1 was launched April 8, 1964 and disintegrated 3.5 days after launch.
  • Gemini 1 was an uncrewed orbital test of the Titan 2 launch vehicle.
  • The main objectives of Gemini 1 were to test the structural integrity of the new spacecraft.
  • Another objectives was to test the new tracking and communication system for the Gemini program and provide training for the ground support crews for the first manned mission.
  • Gemini 1 was a Succesful test.

Gemini 2

  • Gemini 2 or Gemini Titan 2 was launched in January 19, 1965.
  • This was the second uncrewed Gemini mission consisting of a sub- orbital ballistic flight and reentry with the primary objective being, to demonstrate the adequancy of the spacecraft reentry modules heat protection during a maximum heating rate return, the structural integrity of the spacecraft, and the performance of spacecraft systems.
  • Secondary objectives included obtaining test results on communications cryogenics, fuel cell and reactant supply systems.
  • Gemini 2 was dismantled to protect it from 2 hurricanes in August and September of 1964. It was stored down in a storage room until the Hurricanes died. When Gemini 2 was launched it was a succesful test.

Gemini 3

  • Gemini 3 or "01301" was the first crewed Earth-orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini missions.
  • Gemini 3 was launched on March 23, 1965.
  • The aircraft was piloted by astronaut, Virgil Gus Grissom
  • Gemini 3 or " 01301" was the first crewed Earth- orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini missions.

  • Gemini 3 was launched on March 23,1965.

  • The aircraft was piloted by astronauts, Virgil Gus Grissom and John Young with a primary objective of demonstrating the crewed qualification of the Gemini spacecraft including evaluation of the two- man Gemini design, the worldwide tracking network, the orbital altitude and maneuver system, the control of re entry flight path and landing point, spacecraft system, and spacecraft recovery.

  • Secondary objectives included evaluation of flight crew equipment and effects of low level launch vehicle oscillations on the crew, performance of three experiments and to obtain photographic coverage from orbit.

  • There was one brief hold to fix the sensor on the oxidizer line. When the aircraft launched it was successful.

Gemini 4

  • Gemini 4 or "01390" was the second crewed mission in the Gemini program and carried James McDivitt and Edward white.

  • Gemini 4 was launched June 3, 1965.

  • The objective of the mission was to test the performance of the astronauts and capsule and to evaluate work procedures schedules, and flight planning for an extended length of time and space.

  • Secondary objectives included demonstration of extravehicular activity in space, conduct stationkeeping, evaluate spacecraft systems, demonstrate the capability to make significant in-plane and out of plane maneuver and use of the maneuvering systems.

  • This aircraft launched successfully.

Gemini 5

  • Gemini 5 or "01516" carrying astronauts Gordon cooper and Charles Pete Conrad was the third crewed Earth orbiting spacecraft in the Gemini program.

  • Gemini 5 was launched in August 21, 1965.

  • The Objective of this mission is to demonstrate a long duration crewed flight, evaluate effects of long periods of being weightless, and test rendezvous evaluation pod.

  • Secondary objectives included demonstration of all phases of guidance and control systems.

  • This launch was postponed because of weather. When it launched it was successful.

Gemini 6

  • Gemini 6 or "01839" was the fourth crewed Earth- orbiting spacecraft in the Gemini program. The spacecraft carried Frank Borman and James Lovell.

  • Gemini 6 was launched in December 15, 1965.

  • The objective of this mission was to demonstrate on-time launch procedures, closed loop rendezvous capabilities, and station keeping techniques with Gemini 7.

  • The launch was successful with no problems.

Gemini 7

  • Gemini 7 or "01812" was the fourth crewed Earth- orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini program. It carried astronauts Virgil Grissom and John Young.

  • Gemini 7 was launched in December 4, 1965.

  • The missions objective was to demonstrate a 2 week flight, to perform station keeping with the Gemini launch vehicle stage, to evaluate the "shirt sleeve" environment, and demonstrate controlled re entry close to target landing.

  • The launch was successful.

Gemini 8

  • Gemini 8 or "02105" was the 6th crewed Earth orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini program. It carried Neil Armstrong and David Scott.

  • This spacecraft was launched In March 16, 1966.

  • The objectives were to perform rendezvous and four docking tests with the Agena target vehicle and to execute an extravehicular Activity experiments.

  • Secondary objectives included parking the Agena in a 410 km circular orbit, performing a rendezvous with the Agena, conduct system evaluation, evaluating the auxiliary tape memory unit, and demonstration of controlled re entry.

  • The launch of Gemini 8 was successful.

Gemini 9

  • Gemini 9 or "02191" was the seventh crewed Earth- orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini program. It carried astronauts Tom Stanford and gene cernan.

  • Gemini 9 was launched in June 3 1966

  • The objectives of this mission were to demonstrate, rendezvous techniques and docking with a target vehicle to simulate maneuver to be carried out on future Apollo missions, an extravehicular activity spacewalk to test the astronaut maneuvering unit, and precision landing capability.

  • Scientific objectives included obtaining zodiacal light and airglow horizon photographs.

  • The launch of Gemini 9 was successful.

Gemini 10

  • Gemini 10 or "02349" was the eighth crewed Earth- orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini program. It carried the astronauts John Young and Michael Collins.

  • Gemini 10 was launched in July 18, 1966.

  • The primary objective of this mission was to conduct rendezvous and docking tests with the Agena target vehicle. The mission plan included a rendezvous with the Gemini 8 Agena target, two extravehicular activity eand the performance of 15 scientific technological, and medical experiments.

  • Gemini 10 was successfully launched.

Gemini 11

  • Gemini 11 or "02415" was the ninth crewed Earth- orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini program. It carried astronauts Charles Pete and Richard Gordon.

  • It launched in September 12, 1966.

  • This mission was designed to achieve a first orbit rendezvous and docking with the Agena target vehicle, to accomplish two extravehicular activity tests, to perform docking practice, docked configuration maneuvers, tethered operations, parking of the Agena target vehicle, and demonstrate an automatic re entry.

  • Gemini 11 was successfully launched.

Gemini 12

  • Gemini 12 or "02566" was the tenth and final flight of the Gemini program, which bridged the Mercury and Apollo programs. It carried astronauts Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin.

  • It launched in November 11, 1966.

  • It's objectives was to perform rendezvous and docking with the Agena target vehicles, to conduct three extravehicular operations, to conduct a tethered stationkeeping exercises to perform docked maneuvers using Agena propulsion system to change orbit and demonstrate an automatic re entry

  • Gemini 12 launched successfully.

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Bibliography




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  • "Gemini | Spacecraft and Space Program." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 02 May 2015.
  • "John F. Kennedy Space Center - Gemini 11." John F. Kennedy Space Center - Gemini 11. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2015
  • "Putting Americans in Space: Mercury and Gemini." Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2015.