Crew: 
Walter M. Schirra, Jr.
Thomas P. Stafford

Dates:
15-16 December 1965

Design:
crew


Gemini 6A

The Gemini 6 patch is hexagonal in shape, reflecting the mission number; and the spacecraft trajectory also traces out the number "6". The Gemini 6 spacecraft is shown superimposed on the "twin stars" Castor and Pollux, for "Gemini".

"I designed the patch to locate in the sixth hour of celestial right ascension. This was the predicted celestial area where the rendezvous should occur (in the constellation Orion). It finally did occur there."

--Wally Schirra, from All We Did Was Fly to the Moon

"During rendezvous phase, the good old constellation Orion, the prophetic Gemini 6 patch was right there."

--Wally Schirra, Gemini VI Technical Debriefing

"We were up there aiming for the rendezvous and when we first saw our rendezvous vehicle, Gemini 7, glittering in the reflected light of the sunset, it was right between Sirius and the twins, just exactly where we had placed it on the patch."

--Tom Stafford, Life magazine

As originally designed, this patch carried the designation "GTA-6" (for Gemini-Titan-Agena), and showed Gemini 6 rendezvousing with an Agena. After the failed launch of the Agena target vehicle, and the decision to rendezvous with Gemini 7 instead, the patch was redesigned with the legend "GEMINI 6" in place of the original "GTA-6" legend, and with a second Gemini in place of the Agena.

The patch was worn on the right breast.

NASA photo Embroidered patch

[ge06-em1]
NASA photo ID: S65-55983
Taken: 6 Dec 1965
This is the original design with the "GTA-6" legend and an Agena target vehicle. Note, however, that this is not the same patch seen in S65-56190, below.

[ge06a-em3]
After the mission was revised to rendezvous with Gemini 7 instead of the Agena target vehicle, the patch was redesigned with the designation "GEMINI 6" in place of the original "GTA-6", and the outline of a Gemini spacecraft in place of the Agena. NASA apparently never released a photo of this redesigned patch. I extracted and rescaled this image from the end-of-progam photo of all the Gemini mission patches, 66-HC-1855.

[ge06a-em4]
A reproduction embroidered Gemini 6 patch, with the "GEMINI 6" legend and a Gemini target vehicle -- which reflects the design actually worn by the astronauts during the flight. Unfortunately, the background is dark blue instead of black, and the lower Gemini spacecraft is distorted.
102mm w × 90mm h

[ge06a-em5]
This is the 2010 remake by AB Emblem. Unlike the reproduction on the left, this one has the correct black background..
104mm w × 89mm h

NASA photo 65-H-1763
Gemini 6 crew Schirra and Stafford take a look at their mission patch.

NASA photo S65-56190.
Gemini 6 crew during suit-up exercises about a month before their first launch attempt. The detail shows the patch [ge06-em2] on Stafford's suit. Note that it does not match the "official" photo: the lettering here uses a "condensed" font, and the yellow border is significantly wider.

This photo, taken after the recovery of the crew, clearly shows the revised patch.


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