IN 1962, preparations for space-science investigations on manned missions wereundertaken by NASA on the assumption that man's flexibility, judgment, sensoryperceptions, and manipulative abilities would be useful in performing a variety of
experiments. The soundness of this assumption has been borne out by the early two-
man Gemini flights when man's unique ability to control, modify, and reschedule
contributed greatly to the success of the scientific portion of the missions.
The Gemini flight program has shown that man can operate and perform in the
space environment. Beyond that, it has demonstrated that man's unique talents and
capabilities are of tremendous value to the conduct of scientific investigations in space.
Not only have astronauts been able to perform scientific tests during the operational
missions, perfecting the techniques of space maneuvers, but in at least one instance
the success of an experiment came from the astronaut's ability to repair a delicate
instrument during flight.
The experiments conducted during manned flight have derived from a variety
of disciplines, including aeronomy, astronomy, biology, physiology, geography, geology,
meteorology, and space physics. As a result of Gemini photographs major geological
features, hitherto unrecognized, have been identified, including a fault structure in
Baja California and an extinct volcanic field in northern Mexico. Other results fromthese experiments include photographs of the gegenschein—the reflection of light off
interplanetary particles beyond the orbital path of Earth—and photographs of twi-
light bands. Excellent photographs have also been obtained of the zodiacal light, the
reflection of light from interplanetary particles between the sun and earth's orbital
The early Gemini flights have shown that man is particularly well suited to
perform the scientific investigations conducted in space. He can act as a
sensor to observe, monitor, and adapt his own observations. He can also evaluate
data and manipulate instruments and equipment. He is able to respond creatively to
unexpected phenomena and to improvise.
Although earth-science photographs were not formally scheduled on Gemini III,
the astronauts did take 25 pictures, most of which showed cloud formations. OnGemini IV, two scientific experiments, Synoptic Terrain Photography (S-5) and
Synoptic Weather Photography (S-6) , were notably successful. More than 200 useful
pictures were taken, the most significant of which are reproduced here. In Gemini V,terrain and weather photography was included in a schedule of 17 medical, engineer-
ing, and scientific investigations. Guided by the principal investigators of the S-5and S-6 experiments, Paul Lowman of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center andKenneth Nagler of the U.S. Weather Bureau, the astronauts obtained almost 250