In 1965, two years after the end of the Mercury Project, NASA launched the Gemini Program. Although he did not have as much follow-up among public opinion as the first, it was definitive for the subsequent and successful Apollo program, which managed to put a man on the Moon.
The Gemini Program was aimed at several objectives. First, the activities known as EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activities), which consisted of the astronaut's stay outside the space capsule, in this case on the Moon. The second objective was to gain experience in space meetings between ships. That is, the separation operations between the module that remained orbiting around the Moon and the one that landed on it, and its subsequent coupling to return to Earth.
The objective of keeping astronauts in space for up to two weeks was also studied. Over 20 months, 10 Gemini missions took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, turning spaceflight into something almost routine.
Gemini capsule improvements in relation to Mercury
Regarding the Mercury Project capsule, the Gemini Program ships were remarkably improved. Among the main improvements, a 50 percent increase in capacity was achieved in the cabin, allowing the stay of two astronauts. Load capacity was also increased, ejection seats were incorporated and maneuverability was improved. The increase in storage capacity allowed the missions to be longer, thanks to the possibility of loading replacement fuel cells for electric power generation.
The Gemini missions served for astronauts to learn to work and live outside ships, in space. It also allowed them to perform their first spacewalks and to be able to work the encounter and coupling operations. The last mission of the Gemini Program began on November 11, 1966 and ended on the 15th of the same month. On board were traveling astronauts James A. Lovell, Jr. and Edwin E. Buzz Aldrin.
|◄ Previous||Next ►|
|NASA's Mercury Project||The Apollo program|