Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Space Exploration
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  • Historical Summary
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Gemini 12 Mission

Gemini 12 launched on 11 November 1966, piloted by Commander James A. Lovell Jr., USN. The mission lasted 3 days, 22 hours, and 34 minutes and included 59 orbits at an altitude of 162.7 nautical miles. Gemini 12 marked the end of the program with Buzz Aldrin setting a spacewalk record. He spent more than five hours outside the capsule while docked to an Agena booster. Recovery was by HS-11 helicopter from USS Wasp (CVS-18).

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


Gemini 12 Crew Arrive at Launch Complex 19, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

At Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral) Air Force Station, the crew for Gemini 12 arrive at Launch Complex 19. Command pilot Jim Lovell is followed by pilot Buzz Aldrin. The signs on their backs note that this mission is the final flight of the Gemini Program. (Credit: NASA)



Underway Replenishment

The Support Aircraft Carrier USS Wasp (CVS-18) refueling from the Fleet Oiler USS Kankakee (AO-39) during rough seas while awaiting the recovery of the Gemini 12 capsule in the Atlantic Ocean, 12 November 1966. (K-34635)



Recovery of Gemini 12 Crew by USS Wasp

Following the Gemini 12 splashdown on 15 November 1966, astronauts Buzz Aldrin, left, and Jim Lovell are welcomed aboard the recovery aircraft carrier, USS Wasp, concluding their four-day mission. (Credit: NASA)



Navy frogman leaps from helicopter to assist in the Gemini 12 recovery

A Navy frogman leaps from a recovery helicopter into the water to assist in the Gemini 12 recovery operations 15 November 1966. (NASA Photo ID: S66-59987)    



Gemini 12 crew arrives aboard USS Wasp

A happy Gemini 12 prime crew arrives aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Wasp. Astronauts James A. Lovell Jr. (left), command pilot, and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., pilot, had just been picked up from the splashdown area by helicopter. (NASA Photo ID: S66-59997)



Gemini 12 crew receive official welcome aboard USS Wasp

Astronauts James A. Lovell Jr. (left), command pilot, and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., pilot, receive official welcome as they arrive aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wasp after their splashdown at the end of the Gemini 12 mission. (NASA Photo ID: S66-59981)


Published: Wed Jul 10 13:07:49 EDT 2019