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Project Gemini Technology and Operations - A Chronology

Project Gemini Technology and Operations - A Chronology

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Published by Bob Andrepont
NASA histroy of Gemini program
NASA histroy of Gemini program

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Bob Andrepont on Nov 21, 2010
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03/24/2014

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NASASP-4002
PROJECTGEMINI
TECHNOLOGYANDOPERATIONS
Preparedby
James
M.
Grimwood
and
BartonC.HackerwithPeterJ.Vorzimmer
THENASAHISTORICALSERIES___.,/
ScientificandTechnicalInformationDivision
'___7OFFICEOFTECHNOLOGY
UTILIZATION
1969NATIONALAERONAUTICSANDSPACEADMINISTRATIONWashington,
D.C.
 
Forsale
by
theSuperintendent
of
DocumentsU.S.GovernmentPrintingOffice,Washington,D.C.
20402
Price$2.75(papercover)
Librm'j
o_
C._'¢ss
CatalogCard
Number
68-62086
 
FOREWORD
Geminiwasoneoftheearlypioneeringeffortsinthedevelopingspacecapabilityofthisnation.Theinitiationofthisprogramwastimedtotakeadvantageoftheknowledgegainedinourfirstseriesofmannedspaceflights--Project
Mercury.
The
Mercury
programsuccessfullydemonstratedmannedorbitalflight.Perhapsmoreimportantitprovidedextensiveinformationonhowtobuildandflyspacecraftforthemorecomplexmissionsyettocome.Drawingonthisexperience,theGeminiprogramwasabletoproduceforitstime
a
highlyflexiblespacevehicleofconsiderableoperationalcapability.Thesecharacteristicsenabled
a
rapidexpansionofAmericanflighthorizons.ThemostsignificantachievementsofGeminiinvolvedprecisionmaneuver-inginorbit
anda
majorextensionofthedurationofmannedspaceflights.Theseincludedthefirstrendezvousinorbitofonespacecraftwithanother
and
thedockingoftwospacecrafttogether.Thedockingoperationallowedtheuseofalargepropulsionsystemtocarrymentogre_terheights
above
Earththanhadbeenpreviouslypossible,therebyenablingthe
astronauts
toviewandphotographEarthoverextensiveareas.Precisionmaneuveringwas
also
employedduringtheveryhighspeedreentrybacktothesurfaceofEarth,enablingaccuratelandingstobemade.Thelengthofourmannedspaceflightswasextendedtoaslongas14days,
a
durationthathasyettobeexceededasofthiswriting,
although
thiswas
accomplishedabout
threeyearsago.Ofgreatgeneralinterestweretheinvestigationsoftheoperationsofanastronautoutsidetheconfinesofhisspacecraft,protectedfromthehardvac-uumofspacebyhispressurizedspacesuit.Theseextravehicularactivitiesdidinf_tproducesomedifficulties,but,intheend,highlysuccessfuloperationswereconducted.All
of
these
activities
havegreatlycontributedtoexpandingactivitiesinspacethatwenowhaveunderwayorwillbeforthcoming.InApollo,thepro-graminvolvedwithlandingmenonthelunarsurface,thecrewsmustbetrans-portedroughly
0_40,000
milestothe
Moon
and
thenbacktoEarth.Thistripwilltake
a
weekormore.TheApollospacecraftmustperform
a
rendezvousnotnearEarthbutout
at
lunardistancesinorderforthismissiontobesuccess-ful.Once
again,
theastronautsmustleavetheirspacecraftandsintheirpressuresuits,stepoutontothelunarsurfacesothatscientificexplorationcanbecon-ducted.ThefactthatallofthesethingswereinitiallydemonstratedandtheninvestigatedfurtherinanumberoftheGeminimissionsgreatly
aids
thedevel-opmentofthemoredifficultmissionsthatweare
about
toundertake.PerhapsthemostsignificantaspectoftheGeminiprogramwastheman-nerinwhichtheastronautscontributedtothesuccessofeachmission.Intheflyingofthespacecraft,inthemanagementofthesystems,intheovercomingofproblems_andinthe
aid
to
attainment
ofimportantscientificandtechnologi-calinformation,theirpresenceenhancedgreatlythesuccessoftheprogram.
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