The Machines for Gemini

McDonnell finished building Spacecraft 3 in December 1963 and moved it from the production floor to the white room in the St. Louis plant. Engineering changes and equipment installation filled the next six months. Despite some NASA worries about tight schedules, the spacecraft was ready to begin the first phase of systems testing by the end of May 1964, directed, like Spacecraft 2, by the Launch Preparations Group from the Cape. The Development Engineering Inspection (DEI), the first of the...

The First Flight

By 3 March 1964, spacecraft and booster were at last together on launch complex 19 at Cape Kennedy. The series of tests that showed all booster systems were working had just been completed, and the spacecraft had been hung on a tripod in the white room atop the launch vehicle erector. This room, with its four levels and 4.5-tonne *Willis Mitchell remained manager Jerome Hammack became deputy manager and acting head of vehicle development Wyendell B. Evans, of mission planning and Lewis R....

Setback and Success

Loading propellants aboard GLV-2 began in earnest on Tuesday, 8 December, an hour before midnight and finished shortly after three o'clock in the morning. The final countdown started an hour later. It went smoothly, though not quite so smoothly as the first Gemini countdown there were three holds for a total of 41 minutes. The count time were Cape Kennedy Mission Control Goddard Carnarvon, Australia Hawaii Canary Islands Bermuda Cuaymas, Mexico Corpus Christi, Texas and two tracking ships the...

Expansion and Crisis

AS summer gave way to fall in 1962, the smooth progress that Project Gemini had enjoyed during its first half year roughened. Concern mounted over the steady expansion and rising costs of the project as a whole. Hopes for using much of Mercury's technology in Gemini eroded. One system after another became the subject of full-scale development, rather than modification or simple transfer from Mercury. The scope of launch vehicle development likewise grew far beyond first expectations. Costs kept...

T

Earth Photographs from Gemini III, IV, and V, NASA SP-129 (Washington, 1967), pp. 13108. 52 Preliminary Debriefing, Part II, pp. 230-32 Lawrence F. Dietlein, Experiment M-3 and Experiment M-4, Inflight Phonocardi-ogram, in Gemini III and IV Experiments Symposium, pp. 40-48, 49-59 Pauline B. Mack et al., Experiment M-6, Bone Deminer-alization on Gemini IV, ibid., pp. 61-80 Dietlein and Rita M. Rapp, Experiment M-3, Inflight Exercise Work Tolerance, in Gemini Midprogram Conference, p. 394 Mack et...

Chapter XI

1 NASA News Release No. 62-172, NASA Mission Control Center to Be at Houston, Texas, 20 July 1962 News Conference. Manned Spacecraft Center Mission Control Announcement, 9 April 1965. 2 McDivitt, White Named Prime Crew for Second Manned Gemini Flight, MSC Space News Roundup, 5 Aug. 1964 News Conference, GT-4 Crew Selection, 29 July 1964. 3 Andre' J. Meyer, Jr., notes on NASA MAC management meeting, 17 July 1964, p. 3 NASA MAC Management Meeting 16 October 1964, p. 6. 4 James M. Grimwood and...

More Than A Spacecraft

Neither Chamberlin and his staff nor the McDonnell designers had specified a booster for their improved versions of the Mercury capsule, although they had mentioned several prospects at one time or another and Chamberlin himself was more than a little taken with the Titan II. During June and July, STG Director Robert Gilruth and his staff had met often, but always informally, with Martin spokesmen, chiefly James L. Decker, to talk about Titan II as the booster for the scaled-up Mercury.2 The...

Chapter III

Maynard to Chief, Flight Systems Division FSD , Comments on Project Mercury Mark II Progress Report Number 1, 7 July 1961 memo, Maynard to Chief, FSD, Comments on Proposal for Project Mercury minimum change capsule, reconfigured capsule and two man capsule, 27 July 1961. 2 Paul E. Purser, notes on Titan II Manned Booster, 29 June 1961 memos, Purser to Robert R. Gilruth, Log for week of July 3, 1961, 10 July 1961, and Log for week of July 17, 1961, 22 July 1961 Purser, interview,...

Chapter I

1 The Houston Post, 7 Dec. 1961. 2 David G. McComb, Houston, the Bayou City Austin, Tex., 1969 , pp. 50-51, 121. 4 Ibid., p. 199, quoting French journalist Pierre Voisin, as reported in The Houston Post, 4 May 1962. 5 The Houston Post, 8 Dec. 1961 McComb, Houston, pp. 206-207. 10 NASA News Release 61-207, Manned Space Flight Laboratory Location, 19 Sept. 1961 Loyd S. Swenson, Jr., James M. Grim-wood, and Charles C. Alexander, This New Ocean A History of Project Mercury, NASA SP-4201 Washington,...

5 Oct Interview Gemini

Schirra, Jr., interview, Houston, 4 May 1967 Warren Burkett, Schirra Expects to Get Flight of His Own after Gemini Test, The Houston Chronicle, 2 Feb. 1965 Schirra Aiming for 6th Flight, The Sun, Baltimore, 2 Feb. 1965 Jim Maloney, Goal for Age 46 The Moon, The Houston Post, 2 Feb. 1965 News Conference, GT-6 Crew Selection, 5 April 1965, p. 2. 2 NASA News Release No. 65-218, NASA Names Borman, Lovell Gemini 7 Crew, 1 July 1965 MSG News Release No. 65-66, 1 July 1965 Ivan D. Ertel,...

Chapter VII

1 Astronautics and Aeronautics, 1963 Chronology on Science, Technology, and Policy, NASA SP-4004 Washington, 1964 , pp. 241, 244 Henry Tanner, Record in Space Set by Bykovsky, The New York Times, 19 June 1963 Jonathan Spivak, U.S. Scientists Believe Launching Error Aborted Soviet Plan for Space Rendezvous, The Wall Street Journal, 19 June 1963. 2 Minutes of the Sixth Meeting, Gemini Program Planning Board GPPB , Friday, June 28, 1963 letter, Robert R. Gilruth to NASA Hq., Attn Robert C....

Chapter X

1 News Conference, GT-3 Crew Selection, 13 April 1964, pp. 1, 2, 5. 2 U.S. Congress, House, Committee on Science and Astronautics, Astronautical and Aeronautical Events of 1962 Report, 88th Cong., 1st sess., 12 June 1963, p. 122 William Hines, Life-Sized Grissom Rides Again, The Evening Star, Washington, 30 March 1965 U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, United States Astronauts Staff Report, Senate Doc. No. 42, 88th Cong., 1st sess., 15 Nov. 1963, pp. 7, 11, 31,...

Chapter IX

1 MSC Announcement No. 64-64, Reorganization and Personnel Assignments of the Gemini Program Office, 3 April 1964 MSC Telephone Directory, January 1964 Major Move to Clear Lake Begins February 20, MSC Space News Roundup, 8 Jan. 1964. 2 TWX, Walter J. Kapryan to Mathews, AMR-03-03-105, 3 March 1964 Gemini-Titan II Air Force Launch Vehicle Press Handbook Martin-Baltimore, ca. December 1964 , pp. 710, -13. 3 TWX, . Kapryan to Mathews, AMR 03-03106, 3 March 1964 TWX, N. A. Mas and Maj. Carl Ausfahl...

Chapter VIII

1 MSC Announcement No. 268, Reorganization of MSC and Key Personnel Assignments, 5 Nov. 1963 MSC News Release 63227, 5 Nov. 1963 Robert B. Merrifield, Men and Spacecraft A History of the Manned Spacecraft Center 1958-1969 , draft ms., 1972 , pp. 5-28 to -41 NASA Release 63-237, Williams to Head Manned Space Flight Operations for NASA, 23 Oct. 1963 Williams Gets New NASA Job, Missiles and Rockets, 28 Oct. 1963, p. 12 MSC Announcement No. 64-2, Resignation of J. C. Elms, Deputy Director, 17 Jan....

Sickness to Health

The Gemini Agena target vehicle GATV was pacing the program by mid-1965, prompting GPO to consider removing the first production model, GATV 5001, from its job as a test vehicle so it could be used in Gemini VIII.2 All such plans went up in smoke with the explosion of GATV 5002, which ignited the most demanding piece of engineering detective work in the entire Gemini program. Efforts to cure Agena's ailments spanned more than four months, much of it on a...

Attempted Launches

Everything was ready for Gemini IX on 17 May 1966. In the Mission Control Center, Eugene Kranz assumed his duties as flight director, presiding over a three-shift operation. The other two flight directors were Glynn S. Lunney and Clifford Charlesworth. Only 200 newsmen were on hand, compared to the thousand or more who had covered Gemini IV the year before.33 Gemini was becoming more routine, hence less newsworthy. After a smooth countdown, Atlas launch vehicle 5303 rose from pad 14 at 10 12...

Smn

X, pp. 228-29, McDivitt interview TWX, Mathews to McDonnell, Attn. Burke, Contract NAS 9-170, Gemini V Mission Plan, GV-12129, 13 July 1965 memo, Everett E. Christensen to dist., GT-5 Operations Readiness Review, 13 July 1965. 64 GT-4 Flight Crew Report, Tape 5, p. 1 GT-4 Air-to-Ground, pp. 318, 340 NASA MAC Management Meeting 18 September 1964, p. 2 NASA MAC Management Meeting 18 December 1964, p. 3 memo, Collins to Mgr., GPO, Status of space suits for GT-5, GT-6, and GT-7,...

Titan II in Jeopardy

Gemini's biggest question mark in mid-1963 was the launch vehicle. Flight tests of the Titan II missile, suspended in June after two successive failures, had yet to produce results good enough to convince anyone that a booster derived from this missile was a safe bet for Gemini. To make matters worse, Brigadier General John McCoy, director of Titan programs for the Air Force Ballistic Systems Division BSD , strongly opposed any changes in the missile to meet Gemini standards and for sound...

Info

54 Albert and Verlander interviews Gemini VII Voice, I, pp. 6, 136 Kleinknecht, Daily Report No. 1, p. 13 Alexander C. Kuras and John G. Albert, Gemini-Titan Technical Summary, 24 Jan. 1967, pp. 14445 TWX, Mathews to McDonnell, Attn Burke, Contract NAS 9-170, Gemini, Need for Radar and Transponder for Tests at the Cape, GP-7392, 5 Nov. 1965 memo, Mathews to Asst. Dir., Flight Crew Ops., Rendezvous radar transponder test for the Gemini VII mission, GV-66279, 27 Nov. 1965. 55 Gemini VII Voice, I,...

Gemini-7 Optical Communication Msc-4

Map Plans after Gemini 6 Setback, The Evening Star, Washington, 26 Oct. 1965 John Troan, Space Shot in November The Washington Daily News, 26 Oct. 1965. 24 Low interview John D. Hodge, interview, Houston, 12 March 1968 Gerald M. Truszynski, interview, Washington, 13 Sept. 1966 memo, Mathews to Asst. Dirs., Flight Ops. and Flight Crew Ops., Real and delayed time telemetry data recording, Gemini VI-A and Gemini VII, GT-65197 3 Dec. 1965 TWXs, Mathews to dist., Gemini Mission Designations,...