Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Space Exploration
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Gemini 9 and NASA 

Gemini Mission 9 

Gemini 9 launched on 3 June 1966, piloted by Lieutenant Commander Eugene A. Cernan, USN. Gemini 9 completed 45 orbits over 3 days. Rendezvous with the unmanned Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA) was a success; however, docking was not possible due to the condition of the nose cone. Pilot Cernan successfully conducted a two-hour spacewalk. Overall, the crew gained valuable experience learning how to be flexible, expanding their skills in orbital rendezvous, and gaining a better understanding of the challenges faced by astronauts when spacewalking. Recovery was by USS Wasp (CVS-18).

For more information, visit NASA’s Gemini Program webpage.


Gemini 9 Spacewalk

During his spacewalk on 5 June 1966, Gemini 9A pilot Eugene Cernan is seen outside the spacecraft. His experience during that time showed there was still much to be learned about working in microgravity. (Credits: NASA/Tom Stafford)



Looking Back at the Gemini 9 Spacecraft

"What a beautiful spacecraft," said Gemini 9 pilot Eugene Cernan during his two hour, eight minute spacewalk on 5 June 1966. He took this wide-angle photograph looking back at the window where command pilot Tom Stafford was watching. (Image Credit: NASA/Eugene Cernan)



Gemini-9 prime crew portrait

Gemini 9 prime crew portrait with astronauts Thomas P. Stafford (left), command pilot, and Eugene A. Cernan, pilot. (Image Credit: NASA)



Gemini 9 astronauts await recovery operations

Astronauts Thomas Stafford (right) and Eugene Cernan wave to those aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp as the recovery ship approaches. Navy frogmen assist in the recovery operations. (NASA Photo ID: S66-34110)



Gemini 9 spacecraft recovery operations

The Gemini 9-A spacecraft, with Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan still inside, in water as the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, the recovery ship, comes alongside to recover the astronauts and their spaceship. (NASA Photo ID: S66-38890) 



Gemini 9-A astronauts welcomed aboard USS Wasp

Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan (right) receive a warm welcome as they arrive aboard the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. John C. Stonesifer, with the Manned Spacecraft Center’s Landing and Recovery Division, stands next to microphone at left. The Gemini 9 spacecraft can be seen in the right background of the view.  (NASA Photo ID: S66-34109)       


Published: Tue Jul 09 10:04:11 EDT 2019