Chimpanzee Work: 50 Years Since NASA Closed Out Project Gemini (Part 2)

On Gemini XII, Buzz Aldrin became the first human being to embark on three discrete sessions of extravehicular activity. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, next week, Gemini XII astronauts Jim Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin roared into orbit on a four-day mission which would demonstrate many of the capabilities that NASA needed to […]

'Be Advised We Have a Solid Lock-On': 50 Years Since NASA Closed Out Project Gemini (Part 1)

Stunning perspective of Florida, the Bahamas, and Cuba, captured by the Gemini XII astronauts. Photo Credit: NASA

Five decades have now passed since the final curtain was drawn down on Project Gemini—America’s effort to perfect the techniques of rendezvous, docking, long-duration spaceflight, and spacewalking—ahead of fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s goal of landing a […]

'Working a Monkey Board': The First 50 Years of Spacewalking (Part 1)

Five decades have now passed since humanity’s first foray beyond the confines of their pressurized spacecraft and into the airless void beyond. Photo Credit: NASA

Fifty years ago, today, on 18 March 1965, a 30-year-old Soviet cosmonaut named Alexei Leonov became the first human in history to depart the confines of his spacecraft in […]

Popeye Forearms: The Challenge of Gemini IX-A (Part 1)

An exhausted Gene Cernan can barely manage a grimace for Tom Stafford’s camera after completing his spacewalk on Gemini IX-A. Had the hands of fate played out a little differently, this seat might instead have been occupied by Charlie Bassett. Photo Credit: NASA

In the late spring of 1966, the Gemini IX mission seemed […]

Triumph of the Mark One Cranium Computer: The Flight of Gemini XII (Part 2)

Buzz Aldrin participates in a session of extravehicular activity (EVA) in November 1966. Although his activities broke little new ground, Aldrin successfully demonstrated the intricacies of EVA, ahead of Project Apollo. Photo Credit: NASA

Almost four decades ago, on 11 November 1966, astronauts Jim Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin rocketed into orbit aboard Gemini […]

Triumph of the Mark One Cranium Computer: The Flight of Gemini XII (Part 1)

The nose of Gemini XII and the grandeur of Earth, as captured by Buzz Aldrin during one of his sessions of EVA. Photo Credit: NASA

Not long after his return from the Gemini IX-A mission, astronaut Gene Cernan was summoned to Deke Slayton’s office and was asked an unusual question.

“Geno, how soon can […]