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• NASA F CTS
An Educational Services Publication of the
Vol. II. No.8 National Aeronautics and Space Administration
( Re v. Jan . 1966)

MANNED SPACE FLIGHT


PROJECTS MERCURY AND GEMINI

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( NASA CR oR T MX O R AD N U MBER)

• Astronouts Virgil I. Grissom (left) and John W. Young (right) in pressure suits climb into the Gemini Procedures
Trainer for a flight test profile and training session in preparation for the first manned Gemini flight.
Page 2 Vol. II, No.8

MANNED SPACE FLIGHT


A major goal of the United States space pro-
gram is manned space flight to the moon, and
safe return to earth of the astronauts, before the
end of this decade.
NASA's manned space flight program has
been divided into three big steps, or projects-
Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.
Already accomplished, Project Mercury paved
Mercury one-man spacecraft alongside mock-up of
the way by using experimental one-man vehicles
two-man Gemini.
and proving that men could be sent into space
and returned safely to earth. fully achieved a suborbital Mercury-Redstone 2
Project Gemini's two-man spacecraft will ful- (MR-2) flight on January 31, 1961.
fill a two-part plan: first, extending orbit missions Then all was ready for the historic MR-3 flight
up to 2 weeks at a time; second, developing the of May 5, 1961, as Astronaut Alan B. Shepard,
technique of rendezvous and docking, during Jr., made the first U.S. manned space flight. His
which two space vehicles are maneuvered close suborbital mission of 19 minutes took his Freedom
together and finally joined, or "docked." 7 spacecraft 116 miles high into space.
That same technique of orbit rendezvous-but After another countdown for MR-4 on July 21,
around the moon instead of earth-will enable 1961, the Redstone booster hurled Astronaut
astronauts in the three-man Project Apollo space- Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom through the second bal-
craft to achieve lunar landings. listic (suborbital) flight in the Liberty Bell 7.
This ended the Redstone non-orbital tests as
the Mercury-Atlas series of flights advanced to
PROJECT MERCURY
orbital missions. Again preceding the first
Project Mercury became an official program of manned attempt the chimp Enos made an orbital
NASA on November 26, 1958. A Space Task flight (MA-5) on November 29, 1961.
Group to initiate this neW venture was formed An MA-6 space milestone, on February 20,
at Langley Field, Virginia. This group evolved 1962, made Astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr., the
into the Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, first American in orbit, completing three circuits
Texas and after a nationwide call for jet pilot in Friendship 7.
volunteers, seven astronauts were chosen in On the MA-7 mission of May 24, 1962, As-
April 1959. tronaut M. Scott Carpenter in Aurora 7 com-
The one-man Mercury spacecraft was designed pleted another three-orbit flight.
and built with a maximum orbiting weight of MA-8 of October 3, 1962, doubled the flight
about 3,200 pounds. Shaped somewhat like a time in space as Astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Jr.,
bell (truncated cone), the craft is 74.5 inches orbited six times, landing Sigma 7 in the Pacific
wide across the bottom and about 9 feet tall. recovery area, instead of the Atlantic.
The astronaut escape tower on top adds another Finally, on May 15-16, 1963, Astronaut
17 feet for an overall length of approximately L. Gordon Cooper, Jr.'s Faith 7 completed a 22-
26 feet at launch. Two boosters were chosen- orbit mission of 34 1/2 hours, triumphantly con-
the Army's Redstone (78,000 Ibs. thrust) and Air cluding the flight phase of Project Mercury. The
Force's Atlas (360,000 Ibs. thrust)-for suborbital technical report, "Mercury Project Summary" was
and orbital flights, respectively. Before the published in October 1963, five years after the
manned flights began, Ham, the chimp, success- project began.
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,I Originally, Project Mercury was assigned only craft, a modified version of the military Titan II
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I two broad missions by NASA-first, to investigate became the Gemini Launch Vehicle (GLV), with
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I man's ability to survive and perform in the space a total thrust of 530,000 pounds (first stage,
environment; and second, to develop the basic 430,000 pounds). The hypergolic (self-igniting)
space technology and hardware for manned prop~lIants used are non-explosive, an astronaut
space flight programs to come. safety factor.
Beyond these basic goals, Mercury accom- Chosen for Gemini's prime mission of orbital
plished the following: developed a NASA man- rendezvous and docking was the Agena-D "tar-
agement system to carryon more advanced get" vehicle, a new version of the reliable
manned space flight ventures; explored the fun- Agena-B second-stage that, with Thor or Atlas
damentals of spacecraft reentry; started a family boosters, had orbited many satellites and
of launch vehicles from existing rockets that led . launched Mariner and Ranger probes. Agena's
to new booster designs; expanded the aerospace "stop-and-restart" rocket engine, capable of
industry by NASA contracting; set up an earth- cutoff and retgnition at least four times, is im-
girdling tracking system; trained a pool of portant for rend~zvous maneuvers with Gemini.
astronauts easily augmented for future space The hypergolic propellants are hydrazine and
exploration programs. nitrogen tetroxide.
Agena-D is 32 feet long and 5 feet in diam-
eter, is shaped like a cylinder and tapered at the
PROJECT GEMINI
front end to a blunt point.
Project Gemini was named after the twin stars
Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini.
i'Il NASA decided to follow the Mercury's basic
FIRST GEMINI-TIT AN FLIGHT (GT -1 )
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il "capsule" design for Gemini spacecraft, saving The first Gemini-Titan test flight (GT-1) on
time and engineering efforts. But the two-man April 8, 1964, was an almost perfect lift-off, as
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~ craft is wider (7.5 feet), taller (11.5 feet), and Titan boosted the unmanned Gemini craft into
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I more than twice as heavy (7700 Ibs.). These orbit from Launch Complex 19 at Cape Kennedy,
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dimensions give 50 percent more cabin space, Fla.
making room for much new equipment and with Gemini's apogee (high point of orbit) was 204
it for greater performance flexibility. miles, perigee (low point) 99.6 miles, and the
Since Mercury's Redstone and Atlas boosters revolution period around the earth was 89.27
lacked the power to orbit the heavier two-man minutes.

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I EQUIPMENT RETROGRADE RE ENTRY DOCKING
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MODULE
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I Separated segments of Gemini mock-up. At right is docking structure of Agena which
~ contains apparatus for link-up of spacecraft and rocket.
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._ - - .~.--- --- - -- .... -- -~-.--- - --- .----- ...- - - - - .

Page 4 Vol. II, No.8


In orbit 4 days, the craft came down as cal-
culated on April 12. There was no attempt at
recovery since the flight was mainly a structural
integrity test for the booster / spacecraft combi-
nation, and for its guidance system.

GEMINI EXPERIMENTS
Following GT -1, NASA scheduled a series of
scientific, biological, and technological experi-
ments for subsequent Gemini flights. Separate
bioastronautics (space medicine) experiments in-
volve the physiological reactions of the astronauts
in space.
In "extravehicular activities" experiments, the
Gemini astronauts, each in turn, will leave their
spacecraft and practice getting around and work-
ing in empty space. It is planned that this
activity will include tests of specially designed
space tools that a weightless astronaut can use
without twisting effect.
Capability to leave the craft is afforded by
life-support features of the Gemini space suit.
While outside of the spacecraft, the astronaut,
in effect, will be a "human satellite."

GEMINI SPACECRAFT
The Gemini craft is designed to be piloted by
its two-man crew. After an automated launch,
the Gemini spacemen take over : turning, chang-
i ng speed, even shifting orbits.
The spacecraft consists of two major por-
tions-the reentry module (package) and the
adapter module. The latter, in turn, also has
two separate sections, so that Gemini, as
launched, is actually a three-part structure.
Only the reentry module returns to earth.
This module contains the " living" section where
the two astronauts ride.
The life-supporting cabin is double-walled
with an inner shell around the crew's pressurized
compartment and an outer shell as the craft's
external hull.
Between these shells is a storage space for
electronic gear and other apparatus-a techno-
logical improvement over the Mercury craft,
Gemini-Titan launch at Cape Kennedy. whose components (parts) were "stacked" upon
Vol. /I, No. 8 Page 5
one another inside the crowded pilot's compart- FUEL CELL
ment. In contrast, much Gemini equipment is
Another "space first" is Gemini's fuel cell,
in the double-walled storage area, where it can
generating electrical power by chemical means.
be easily checked, adjusted, replaced, even when Much lighter than the equivalent batteries they
j Gemini is in place atop Titan on the launch pad.
o replace, two groups of fuel cells provide 1,000
I The aft (rear) section contains more equip-
J watts each, supplying the spacecraft's total
] ment, and bottommost is the ablative (melting
] electrical needs.
] and evaporating) heat shield that protects the
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J reentry module from air-friction heat on earth- GUIDANCE SYSTEM
~
~ return.
~ Aboard Gemini is an ingenious inertial guid-
I One purpose of the two-part adapter module, ance system which records and totals every bit
~ which tapers and flares out from 7 112 feet to 10
I of progress forward, backward, and sideways,
~ feet in diameter, is to "adapt" (fit) the narrow from the earth-launch starting point to the space

~
Gemini to the Titon booster's broad top. Sec- desti nati on.
J ondly, the adapter's 90-inch deep volume is linked into the guidance system during orbital
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U another housing area for equipment. maneuvers are other units-computer, radar,
~ The adapter section adjacent to the crew's electronic controls, attitude thrusters, propulsion
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reentry module is the retrograde assemblage,
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holding two sets of engines-retrorockets (for
units-so that the astronauts' ma~ter conrols can
accurately achieve rendezvous and docking with
reducing speed) and space-maneuvering thrusters. Agena.

I; The adapter's aft part, the equipment section,


holds fuel cells, attitude controls, radio units,
and a liquid-coolant radiator to dissipate internal
RENDEZVOUS RADAR
Gemini's high-definition radar gives the range
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spacecraft heat away into open space.
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(distance), bearing (direction and angle of ap-
The lower end of this two-part adapter is proach), and closing speeds of the chase and
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mated, by means of a metal collar, to the top of target vehicles, with data starting when they are
II the Titan launch rocket. 250 miles apart.
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II Later, the high-intensity flashes of Agena's
I light beacon become visible to the astronauts, at
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EJECTION SEAT
a maximum range of 50 miles. These optical
Based on a jetplane technique, Gemini's light- observations, plus radar tracking, are then com-
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weight ejection seats can, in emergency, catapult bined, as manual controls guide Gemini toward
II the astronauts out of two large hinged hatches rendezvous with Agena.
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I that open mechanically. Undoubtedly, the Gemini astronauts wi" even-
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I Unlike Mercury's automatic ejection sensors, tually blend their own intuitive skills with com-
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I Gemini's system relies entirely upon the astro- puter data, and gain the know-how to swing the
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I naut crew's quick reflexes, because Titan's non- two vehicles around in space with the routine
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I explosive propellants merely burn and allow time ease of parking cars on earth.
II for human reactions .
COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS
Three major communications systems are car-
COMPUTER
II ried aboard Gemini: the voice system, which in-
I Among Gemini innovations is a "shoebox" cludes an intercom connection between the
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I computer, weighing only 57.6 Ibs. and occupy- astronauts; the receiver of command signals and
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I ing a mere cubic foot of cabin space, yet able to updated orbit information from Manned Flight
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I make the computations for the intricate rendez- Control; data collection tapes and their relay
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II vous and docking maneuvers with the orbiting transmitters for automatic transmission of reports
Agena-D. to earth.
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Vol. II, No.8

Gemini spacecraft is raised to top of gantry for mating to Titan launch vehicle .
Vol. II, No. 8 Page 7
ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL SYSTEM (ECS) around and goes backwards. Its fore end is
thus in docking position as the later-launch
The Gemini Environmental Control System in
Gemini arrives nose first.
• the reentry module's cabin compartment sustains
Bringing the front ends of t wo spacecraft to-
t he astronaut pilots and permits them to carry
gether, while whirling around earth at nearly
out their duties.
18,000 mph, is much more difficult than mid-air
Though the Gemini life-support system is sim-
refueling between a jetplane and a tanker.
ilar to the Mercury ECS, major engineering
Hence, the mid -space meeting of rocket vehicles
changes have gone into it. Each astronaut has
must feature the quickest and most reliable con-
two parallel suit circuits for oxygen, plus the op-
tact via easy-fitti ng docking devices.
tion of using the cabin's habitable (purified) at-
At the Agena ' s forward end, the target dock-
mosphere while being partially unsuited for more
ing adapter (TDA) is a cylindrical collar, within
freedom of action.
which is a docking cone illum i nated by two ap-
Mercury ' s bottled gas has been replaced in
proach lights. Self-adjusting mechanisms lock
Gemini by a liquid oxygen supply, requiring less
firmly to the inserted nose of Gemini and moor
storage volume for the maximum 14-day supply.
the two vehicles.
lhe third major ECS change is an improved
Prior to docking, an invaluable aid to the
method of d issipating unwanted heat into space.
astronauts is the lighted status display panel,
FOOD AND WATER mounted outside Agena's lOA. Its visual mon-
itors reveal the Agena equipment's operational
Besides being a body fuel, food is important
readiness by means of nine lights and three
to man as a psychological " uplift."
dials. Typical are green lights for " OK to
A basic diet of 2,550 calories per man will be
dock, " "PPS TIME " (primary propulsion system),
fulfilled by freeze-dried foods including meats,
which clocks the amount of burning time left for
• soups, desserts, and fruits. Water restores
the main rockets before fuel depletion.
them to their original form .
Water will be recovered from the atmosphere
STANDARDIZED SPACE
within the spacecraft, also will be derived as a
fuel cell byproduct.
LAUNCH VEHICLE
Historically fa mous as the booster for six
GEMINI LAUNCH VEHICLE highly sucessful Mercury space flights, the Atlas
The Gemini launch vehicle is a modification will also serve as the Agena launch rocket in
of the military Titan II. Fueled by stable and Gemini's rendezvous experiments .
storable propellants, it is 10 feet wide and 89 Known as the Standardized Space launch
feet long (first stage booster 70 feet). The com- Vehicle (SSL V), this 62-foot booster is powered
bined Gemini-Titan stands 108 feet high. by five conventional liquid rocket engines. Atlas
An important new Gemini launch vehicle de- power alone cannot orbit the Agena, and at
vice is the Malfunction Detection System, whose booster burnout, pyrotechnic devices (explosive
electronic monitors watch the vehicle 's perform- bolts) at the SSl V-adapter's forward end release
ance during launch for possible booster trouble. the Agena, whose own eng ine fires to gain
Warning signals allow ample time for the astro- orbital velocity.
nauts to abort (cut short) the mission, if neces-
sary, by using their ejection seats. LAUNCH CHECKOUTS

Prior to a scheduled Gemini rendezvous mis-


AGENA-D TARGET VEHICLE sion, all the hardware of two complete launch
In the rendezvous of Agena-D and Gemini, vehicles and two spacecraft is meticulously
the two spacecraft will be joined nose to nose. checked and rechecked many times over. Be-
Hence, after first being orbited, the Agena turns cause the failure of the tiniest relay or switch
Page 8 Vol. II, No. 8
can ruin an entire multimillion dollar space ven- The Agena is propelled into a circular orbit
ture-and also risk two human lives-this tedi- 185 miles up, after which precise velocity and
ously painstaking checkout procedure is vitally trajectory elements are calculated. About 24
necessary. hours later Gemini blasts off, within the specified
All the major vehicles arrive at Cape Kennedy "launch window" -the time interval during which
broken down into modules and sections. After launch will produce an orbit permitting the two
dozens of checkouts until all modules are mated craft to meet.
into full vehicles, 7 days remain before lift-off. Gemini's orbit must be in the same plane
In that week, the final tests include: radio and (slant toward equator) as Agena's. This restricts
radar circuits; simulated flight via computer; sim- the Gemini launch window to about 2 hours in
ulated launch with the two astronauts aboard the each 24, for the 5-day period the target vehicle
spacecraft; servicing and fueling of Titan with can wait for rendezvous. Certain orbit-correcting
checkout of engine systems; complete check of maneuvers by the Agena, before Gemini launch,
total Gemini Titan equipment; 300-minute dress can double the launch window.
rehearsal countdown; final 2-day servicing and The basic plan is to maneuver the Gemini into
checkout. a circular orbit whose altitude is approximately
Only after this long parade of cross-check 23 miles less than the Agena.
check-outs does the real countdown start.
Sharing in all main tests, the two Gemini astro- TARGET CAPTURE
nauts gain full confidence that the Titan booster When the distance between vehicles is 250
and Gemini spacecraft will successfully bear them miles, radar is switched on. As the gap closes
into orbit, and safely return them to earth. to 50· miles, the Gemini astronauts pick up the
The Mission Control Center of MSC, at Cape Agena's flashing beacon and take over the
Kennedy, monitored the early Gemini flights. In manual controls.
later missions, the flight phase has been mon- Aiding the astronauts is the status display
itored by a new Mission Control Center at the panel outwardly mounted on the Agena-D, giv-
Manned Spacecraft Center, Houston, Tex.; the ing visuol data on Agena fuel reserves, electrical
launch phase still being conducted by the Cape power, attitude position, all of which is processed
Kennedy team. through the computer along with the Gemini
craft's own movements.
During these maneuvers the relative speed
TRACKING NETWORK
difference between the vehicles has been cut to
Expanded from the former Mercury network, less than a 2 mph drift rate so that their noses
the Gemini tracking system comprises 13 land touch gently.
stations and two tracking ships, the latter filling If the first docking maneuver is imperfect, the
landless gaps in the Pacific Ocean. Agena is merely bumped away and no harm is
Besides tracking equipment, all stations have done. The astronauts simply back off for an-
two-way communications with the Gemini space- other try. In a successful contact, the Gemini's
craft. Some have additional telemetry equip- narrow end enters the Agena's target docking
ment or command signal transmitters. adapter, whose latches clamp shut to prevent
the two vehicles from slipping apart. Then a
motorized Agena unit pulls the Gemini nosecone
GEMINI RENDEZVOUS MISSION
inward 011 the way.
A Gemini rendezvous mission calls for send- Once the two craft are tightly moored, match-
ing up the Agena target vehicle from Cape ing electrical contacts meet and give the Gemini
Kennedy's Launch Complex 14 approximately astronauts direct control of Agena's onboard
24 hours prior to the Gemini chase vehicle's lift- equipment-guidance, propulsion, attitude con-
off from Launch Complex 19. trol, relay switches, and the rest.
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• Vol. II, No. 8
Union of the two vehicles results in a larger
.
REENTRY AND RECOVERY
Page 9 I
iI Gemini / Agena spacecraft almost 50 feet long,
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,I much more powerful and versatile than either of
Their rendezvous maneuver completed, the
astronauts unhook their Gemini craft from the
I the two original craft. With the main Gemini
Agena (left in orbit) and prepare for earth-return.
I rockets in back and the Agena thrusters in the
They first ascertain that upon firing the retro-
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/ front, the two-part Gemini-Agena spacecraft can
rockets, their downward trajectory will land them
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~ move either forward or backward without having
in a designated recovery area . This may re-
to turn around. The doubled rocket power also
quire orbit corrections by means of their
,
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allows for unique space performances through
the series of manned Gemini missions.
propulsion units .
I
I PAINTING BY DAVIS MELTZER, ItESEA,RCH n GEORGE W . aEAITY () N .G .S.
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Scanning the dark sky, Gemini's radar locates Agena at a distance of 250 miles and holds
the quarry in view (far left). Gemini's computer determines the approach speed and point
at which the two craft will meet. An 8-foot boom antenna on the target craft receives
radio signals from the astronauts, wha order Agena to assume a stabilized position. Guided
by flashing beacons, the astronauts speed up their vehicle and maneuver it toward Agena's
cone-shaped docking collar. Though the two craft travel 17,500 miles an hour, their
difference in speed is only a little more than one mile an hour at final closure. Crewmen
maneuver Gemini's nose into a V-slot in Agena's collar; then mechanical latching fingers
snap the craft together. The space-mated couple turn around, placing Agena's restartable
engine in position to propel the vehicle into a new orbital path so that the astronauts can
probe deeper into space. They will detach Agena before re-entering earth's atmosphere.

HIGHLIGHTS OF PROJECT GEMINI MANNED SPACE FLIGHTS


FLIGHT ASTRONAUTS DATE FLIGHT TIME REVOLUTIONS REMARKS
GT-3 Virgil I. Grissom 3/23/65 04 hrs. 54 min. 3 America's first two-manned flight.
John W. Young
GT-4 James A. McDivitt 6/3/65 97 hrs. 59 min. 62 First "walk in space" by an American astro-
Edward H. White naut. First extensive maneuver of spacecraft
by a pilot.
GT-5 Charles Conrad, Jr. 8/21/65 190hrs. 56 min. 120 Eight-day flight proved man's capacity for
L. Gordon C_per sustained functioning In space environment.
GT -7 Frank Borman 12/4/65 330 hrs. 35 min. 206 World's longest manned orbital flight.
James Loven
GT-6 Walter M. Schlrra, Jr. 12/15/65 25 hrs. 51 min. 16 World's first successful space rendezvous.
Thomas Stafford
GT-8 Nell A. Armstrong 3/16/66 10 hrs. 44 min. 6 World's first successful docking in space.
David R. Scott
Page 10 Vol. II, No.8
Because of Gemini's slight ' 'lift " (gliding abil- One Gemini flight trainer is located at the
ity), there is a capability for "aiming" toward the Manned Spacecraft Center ' s new Clear lake site
desired landing site . However, provision is at Houston, Tex ., where the Mission Control
made for the possibility of a random landing; Center is also stationed. Another simulator in-
equipment and training for Gemini astronaut sur- stallation is at Cape Kennedy, Fla .
vival are more elaborate than they were in Proj- Centrifuges at Johnsville, Pa. and at Ames
ect Mercury. Research Center in California provide high-g
A survival pack for each Gemini crewman is loads to match the stresses of powered launches,
stowed in a rectangular-shaped cavity in the back training astronauts to handle controls despite
of his spacecraft seat. If he leaves the seat, his acceleration strains.
personal parachute and survival pack-both
being strapped to him-are at the same time
pulled along.
BIOMEDICAL AND
Gemini spacecraft will have large spacecraft
BIOASTRONAUTICS EXPERIMENTS
parachutes for water landings, as in Project
Mercury. Gemini flight plans call for various space
If reentry is unavoidably over land, the astro- medicine investigations conceived by NASA's
nauts will eject themselves in the air and para- bioastronautics authorities.
chute down by themselves. The craft's impact In general life-support (bioastronautics) studies,
on hard ground is too violent for the astronauts important information to be gained during Gemini
to risk, but low enough to prevent serious vehicle missions includes: ways to improve space suits
damage . for greater comfort and health; more efficient
body waste management; methods of. exercising
to keep the astronauts in good muscle tone.
ASTRONAUT SELECTION
A maior problem is that the crew of the
The National Aeronautics and Space Admin-
Gemini, unlike that of the Mercury, will have long
istration started with the seven 'M ercury astro-
periods of zero-g inactivity . These periods might
nauts in April 1959. For the Gemini and
be physically detrimental, unless suitable muscle
Apollo missions, it chose 9 others in September
exercises are developed for the weightless state,
1962, and 14 more in October 1963. In
plus work-rest cycles that keep spacemen mentally
June 1965, six scientist-astronauts were selected.
alert.
There now are 26 astronauts (of the 30 se-
NASA scientists also face " human engineer-
lected) comprising the pool from which the two-

I!
ing" problems involved in space suit design. To
man Gemini crews are chosen.
alleviate discomfort during the 14-day Gemini
7 trip, the astronauts removed their pressure
NASA ASTRONAUT TRAINING suits and for a time flew in their underwear.
During the first year of manned Gemini
All astronauts undergo training to reach peak
flights, 10 astronauts logged more than 1300
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mental and physical efficiency for Gemini flights.
Basic science studies have been expanded to in-
hours in space and travelled 11 million miles. ~
clude such courses as computer fundamentols, From among the Gemini astronaut roster, will
undoubtedly emerge the three spacemen-un-
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guidance technology, and astrogation (space 1
known as yet-destined to be the first U.S. citizens I
navigation). 1
To prepare for space missions, astronauts to fly an Apollo spacecraft to the moon, near the 1
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practice earth-simulated flights in trainer devices. end of this decade. III,
The space pilot-room simulators teach astronauts Those three " 'unarnauts " will have an eternal
the elements of rendezvous and docking by place in history as Columbuses of space who
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means of electronic di'als and dummy controls. landed on a new world. 1
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Gemini spacecraft mockup being checked out by Astronaut.

DEFINITIONS

APOGEE: In an orbit about the earth, the point at which BOOSTER ROCKET: A rocket engine, e ither solid or
the satellite is farthest from the earth; the highest altitude liquid fuel, that assists the normal propulsive system or
reached by a sounding rocket. sustainer engine of a rocket or aeronautical vehicle in
ASTRONAUTICS: The art, skill, or activity of operating some phase of its flight . A rocket used to set a missile
space vehicles. In a broader sense, the science of space vehicle in motion before another engine takes over .
flight. DOCKING: The process of bringing two spacecraft to-
ATTITUDE: The position or orientation of an aircraft, gether while in space .
spacecraft, etc., either in motion or at rest, as determined HYPERGOLlC: Propellants, fuel and oxidizer, which ignite
by the relationship between its axes and some reference spontaneously upon contact; hydrazine and nitrogen
line or plane such as the horizon. tetroxide are examples.
BALLISTIC TRAJECTORY: The trajectory followed by a MODULE: A self-contained unit of a launch vehicle or
body being acted upon only by gravitational forces and spacecraft which serves as a building block for the overall
the resistance of the medium through which it passes . structure. The module is usually designated by its primary
(Continued on page 12)
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Gemini Docking Simulator.

DEFINITIONS- (Continlled from page 11 )

function as "command module", lunar landing module, etc . ROLL: The rotational or oscillatory movement of on air·
A one-package assembly of functionally associated elec- croft or similar body which tokes place about a longitudinal
tranic parts; usually a plug-in unit . axis through the body-called " ro" " for any amount of
PERIGEE: That orbital point nearest the earth when the such rotation.
earth is the center af attraction .
SENSOR: The component of on instrument that canverts on
PITCH: The movement of an aircraft or spacecraft about input signal into a quantity which is measured by another
its lateral (nose going up or down) axis. part of the instrument. Also called " sensing element. "
PROPELLANT: Any agent used for consumption or com-
bustion in a rocket and from which the racket derives its SUBORBITAL: Non-orbiting or ballistic flight trajectory
thrust, such as a fuel , oxidizer, additive, catalyst, or any from launch point to target point.
compound or mixture of these. -I
TRAJECTORY: In general, the path traced by any body,
REACTION, ENGINE: An engine that develops thrust by as a rocket, moving as a result of externally applied forces .
its reaction to ejection of a substance from it; spec ifically,
such on engine that ejects a jet or stream of gases created WEIGHTLESSNESS: A condition in which no acceleration,
by the burning of fuel within the engine . whether of gravity or other force can be detected by on
REENTRY: The event occurring when a spacecraft or observer within the system in question . A condition in
other object comes bock into the sensible atmosphere after which gravitational and other external forces acting on a
being rocketed to altitudes above the sensible atmosphere ; body produce no stress, either internal or external, in the
the action involved in this event. body .

RETROROCKET: A rocket fitted on or in a spacecraft, satel - YAW: The lateral rotational or oscillatory movement of
lite, or the like to produce thrust opposed to forward an aircraft, rocket, or the like about a transverse axis.
motion. The amount of this movement, i.e., the angle of yaw .

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