Gemini

The American flag used as the mission patch on Gemini 4 was worn on the left shoulder. All subsequent flights carried the American flag in the same position (except Apollo 1, where it was located on the right shoulder). On Gemini 5, 6, 8 and 9 the mission patch was worn on the right breast; on the remaining missions (7, 10, 11, 12) the patch was worn on the right upper arm -- in some cases almost down at the elbow.

Gemini 4
A planned rendezvous maneuver with the spent second stage of the Titan II booster was abandoned after failed attempts seriously depleted the fuel reserves. The highlight of the record-setting four-day mission was Ed White's 22-minute space walk, the first performed by an American.

Gemini 4 patch
Gemini 5 patch

Gemini 5
Gemini 5 doubled the flight duration record set by Gemini 4 to nearly eight days. This was made possible by employing fuel cells to generate electricity. Their use was not trouble-free, however -- several experiments were canceled for lack of sufficient power.

Gemini 7
Gemini 7, launched prior to Gemini 6 in order to provide a rendezvous target for that mission, remained in orbit for a record-setting 14 days. This duration was not surpassed by an American space mission until the Skylab flights.

Gemini 7 patch
Gemini 6 patch

Gemini 6A
Originally intended to rendezvous with an Agena target vehicle, that plan was scrapped when the Agena launch failed. In a bold move, flight planners substituted a second Gemini spacecraft -- Gemini 7 -- making this the first rendezvous of two manned spacecraft.

Gemini 8
Gemini 8 accomplished one of the Gemini program's major objectives -- docking with another spacecraft -- before being prematurely terminated due to the spacecraft spinning out of control due to a stuck thruster. Command pilot Neil Armstrong managed to recover from the life-threatening tumble, and the crew returned to earth after only 10 hours in orbit.

Gemini 8 patch
Gemini 9A patch

Gemini 9A
Neither of the primary objectives of the mission were accomplished: the planned docking was foiled by a launch shroud which had not properly separated from the target spacecraft; and the ambitious plan for Cernan's spacewalk proved too difficult to complete.

Gemini 10
Gemini 10 accomplished the first-ever double rendezvous: after docking with their own Agena target vehicle, they used its engine to raise their orbit to allow them to rendezvous with Gemini 8's abandoned Agena. Collins then performed a spacewalk in which he retrieved an experiment from the Gemini 8 Agena.

Gemini 10 patch
Gemini 11 patch

Gemini 11
The crew accomplished a docking with their Agena target on their first orbit, a capability that needed to be proven for Apollo. They then used the Agena's rocket engine to set a new altitude record of 1368 km. Gordon's spacewalk proved, like Cernan's, over-ambitious; but he managed to attach a tether to the Agena, which they subsequently used to rotate the two spacecraft, generating a slight artificial gravity.

Gemini 12
Edwin Aldrin proved that an astronaut could perform useful work during an EVA -- given adequate training and appropriate equipment. The crew also accomplished yet another rendezvous and docking with an Agena target.

Gemini 12 patch
This page copyright © 2000-2008 Eugene Dorr.
All rights reserved.