Crew: 
Thomas P. Stafford
Eugene A. Cernan

Dates:
3-6 June 1966

Design:
crew


Gemini 9A

The patch is in the shape of a shield, showing Gemini docked to Agena, with a spacewalking astronaut whose umbilical traces out the number 9.

In the course of events, the originally planned Agena target was lost due to a failed launch; and the launch shroud on the replacement ATDA (augmented target docking adapter) failed to deploy properly, thwarting the docking attempt. Stafford described the sight of the ATDA with its partially opened shroud as an "angry alligator". Cernan later observed, "What a patch that would have made!"

While the mission designation was changed to Gemini-Titan IXA to reflect this substitution and the corresponding change in mission objectives, the patch was not updated -- in contrast to the revision of the Gemini 6A patch under similar circumstances.

It is worth noting that this was the first mission flown by a backup crew -- the prime crew of Charles A. Bassett II and Elliot M. See having been killed in a plane crash the previous February. There is no evidence that Bassett and See had worked on a patch design.

The patch was worn on the right breast.

It is interesting to note that the next time Stafford and Cernan flew together -- on Apollo 10 -- the mission patch for that flight was again in the shape of a shield. In fact, the whole design of the two patches is remarkably similar.

NASA photo Embroidered patch

[ge09-aw1]
NASA photo ID: S66-28075
Taken: 4 Apr 1966

[ge09-em1]
An embroidered Gemini 9 patch. Most embroidered version of this patch have the crew names added across the middle of the patch, or on an extension at the bottom of the patch. This patch adheres closely to the design.
102mm w × 75mm h

[ge09-em2]
A variant embroidered patch that, while not as faithful to the design reference (the shape is altered, the design elements smaller, and the Agena elongated), is very similar to the patch actually worn by the Gemini 9A crew -- except for the addition of the crew names. Patch authority John Bisney believes that the original patches were manufactured in this style, and that the tab containing the names was trimmed off before being affixed to the crew pressure suits.
106mm w × 84mm h

[ge09-em3]
Probably the version that was flown, but with the addition of the tab carrying the crew names. Notice the vertical elongation compared to [ge09-em2]; and also that the top doesn't curve up as noticably at the sides.. This version matches the design that was hung in the MOCR. Thanks to Donnis Willis for this image.

[ge09-em4]
The 2010 remake by AB Emblem. Since the desire was to recreate the flown version, this patch deviates from the artwork considerably, just as the flown patch did. Since the flown patch had no tab for the crew names, neither does this one.
104mm w × 73mm h

NASA Photo ID 72-H-1503
A photo taken around the time of Apollo 17 shows Gene Cernan affixing an Apollo 17 patch to an engine nacelle of his T-38 aircraft.

A detail from the photo to the left shows Cernan's jacket had a Gemini 9 patch that had the crew names on an elongated version of the patch without a tab. Note also the absence of a point on the bottom of the shield.

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