The Gemini Program was intended to be an intermediate step between Mercury and Apollo. The Gemini spacecraft carried two astronauts and it was the first spacecraft to use a hydrogen fuel cell to generate electricity.
Gemini astronauts performed the first orbital rendezvous and docking as well as the first American spacewalk. These abilities would be required if a manned mission to the Moon was to become a possibility. A land landing using Gemini was scheduled, but that mission was cancelled in 1964.
By the time the Gemini Program ended in 1966 the Americans were catching up with or even surpassing the Russians in the space race.
- Spend up to two weeks in orbit
- Rendezvous and dock with another spacecraft
- Perfect Earth re-entry and landing
- Gemini 9A
June 3-6, 1966
Thomas Stafford (CP), Eugene Cernan (P)
Reassigned after the deaths of Elliot See and Charles Bassett