Monday, January 13, 2014

Lost in Space - Gemini VIII

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the story of the American space programs first near space fatality – the mission of Gemini 8 (VIII).

Gemini VIII was the sixth manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program and accomplished the very first docking of two spacecraft in Earth orbit. The crew of the Gemini 8 mission consisted of two rookie astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott both of whom were later destined to walk on the lunar surface as commanders of the Apollo 11 and Apollo 15 missions respectively. Armstrong was the first person to walk on the Moon and Scott was the seventh.

But, the fates of both men and the history of space exploration very nearly took a different and almost tragic turn. 

Gemini VIII docks with its Agena Target Vehicle

Gemini 8 was the first space mission that suffered the first critical in-space system failure of a U.S. spacecraft which threatened the lives of the astronauts and required immediate abort of the mission. The crew was returned to earth safely. The only other time this happened was on the flight of Apollo 13. This documentary reconstructs the events.

Lost in Space - Gemini VIII

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