'Only Tom Really Knows': 50 Years Since the Challenging Mission of Gemini IX (Part 2)

A view of Gemini IX, including its maneuvering thrusters, taken by Gene Cernan. His lengthy tether is clearly visible. Photo Credit: NASA

Five decades ago, one of the hairiest and most difficult missions in America’s space history unfolded. Gemini IX-A was already complex—a three-day flight, involving rendezvous, docking, maneuvering, and spacewalking—but had endured additional […]

'Like an Angry Alligator': 50 Years Since the Challenging Mission of Gemini IX (Part 1)

Gemini IX finally flew in June 1966, carrying astronauts Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan. Photo Credit: NASA

In many ways, NASA’s Gemini IX mission—tasked with spending three days in space, performing a lengthy spacewalk, a rendezvous, and a docking with an unmanned Agena target vehicle—was hamstrung by bad luck. First, in February 1966, its […]

'What Do You Suppose Stafford's Saying?': 50 Years Since Gemini IX Lost Its Agena (Part 2)

The Gemini IX crews consisted of Elliot See (front left) and Charlie Bassett (front right) and their backups, Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan. The deaths of the prime crew on 28 February 1966 forced Stafford and Cernan into their shoes, but was not the end of their misfortunes. On 17 May 1966, they also […]

Retro Space Images: McDivitt's Special Day

Happy Birthday to Jim McDivitt! Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

Birthday Wishes — Happy birthday to Gemini and Apollo Program space veteran Jim McDivitt!

 

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Spacecraft Films: Gemini IX's Recovery

[youtube_video] http://youtu.be/TAgP8zfjaEY [/youtube_video]

Video courtesy of Spacecraft Films

On June 6, 1966, the Gemini IX-A crew returned to Earth under the parachutes of their Gemini spacecraft; thus drawing to a close one of the most complex and dangerous missions in human space flight history. The mission had already lost its prime crew in […]

Retro Space Images: The Gator's Jaws

Photo Credit: NASA / Retro Space Images

A Gator With Teeth — Remembering Gemini 9 and the ATDA that Tom Stafford named “the angry alligator.”

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Spacecraft Films: The Launches of Gemini IX-A

[youtube_video]http://youtu.be/mOdcUwlWBDc[/youtube_video]

Video courtesy of Spacecraft Films

On June 3, 1966, the Gemini IX-A crew thundered into orbit—and the history books—atop their Titan launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It would become one of the most complex and dangerous missions in human space flight history. The mission had already […]