The Gemini Program
The Gemini Program
Learn all about the American Gemini Program which paved the way for the ultimate space endeavour - landing a man on the moon. This VideoJug film will let you discover all the secrets of the pioneering space travel of the Gemini Program.
Following the successful launch of 7 Mercury Space Rockets between 1959 and 1963.
NASA and the United States where falling behind the USSR in the space race. Russia had launched the first satellite (Sputnik), they had launched the first man into Space (Yuri Gagarin) and had even had a woman cosmonaut in space (Valentina Tereshkova).
The Mercury flights had been manned by only one astronaut, but NASA knew that if they wanted to get to the Moon it would take a crew of at least three Astronauts.
The Gemini Program was the name of NASA's next small step on the road to that giant leap for mankind.
Gemini Rockets consisted of a larger Titan rocket and a two man capsule. The name Gemini itself comes from the zodiac Gemini the twins.
On 8th April 1964 the first unmanned Gemini rocket was test launched at Cape Canaveral Florida. With the first manned flight coming a year later on March 23rd 1965. When ex- Mercury astronaut Virgil 'Gus' Grissom joined John Young onboard Gemini III for 3 orbits of the Earth.
Over the next 18 months 9 Gemini rockets were launched to test various operations.
Gemini IV took James McDivitt and Ed White for his first walk in space.
Gemini V kept Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad in space for a week performing 120 orbits of the Earth.
Gemini VII carrying Frank Borman and James Lovell rendezvoused with Gemini VI carrying Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford in December 1965.
Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott almost lost their life in Gemini VIII during a rendezvous with an unmanned Agena rocket in March 1966, when both craft began tumbling uncontrollably.
Tom Stafford and Eugene Cernan had to retest the rendezvous again in Gemini IX after its failure during Gemini VIII.
Gemini X in July 1966 was manned by Michael Collins and John Young making his second flight into space.
Gemini XI docked with an Agena rocket and took astronauts Pete Conrad and Gordon Cooper to an altitude of 1200 km above the earth.
The program came to an end in November 1966 when James Lovell and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin spent nearly 5 hours walking in Space.
The stage had now been set for the Apollo program that would eventually land a man on the Moon in less than 3 years time.