This official NASA internal program document - converted for accurate flowing-text ebook format reproduction - is an extraordinarily impressive technical account of the spacecraft and hardware of Project Gemini, the two-man orbital capsule that pioneered rendezvous and docking techniques used in the Apollo lunar landing missions. It is an essential addition to the library of Gemini fans! It is especially valuable for the descriptions of incremental spacecraft and systems modifications made from one flight to the next, and for the extensive data on the Gemini test and reliability program.
(Please note that this is not the same as the Project Gemini Summary Conference document also published by World Spaceflight News.)
Contents: Safety First * Spacecraft Description * Structural Qualification Test Program * Reliability And Quality Assurance Program * Spacecraft Flight Performance (by Mission) * Major Systems * Mission Planning * Experiment Summary Report
From the introduction: Project Gemini was begun in November 1961 as a follow-on program to Project Mercury, NASA's first manned space flight program. The Gemini program was concluded ahead of schedule and below anticipated costs in November 1966 after the successful flights of two unmanned and ten manned spacecraft. The McDonnell Company was the prime contractor for both Mercury and Gemini. The Mercury program, in which the last of six manned space flights was made in May 1963 demonstrated that spacecraft could be launched on precise schedules, and could safely orbit the earth, re-enter, and land. Gemini showed that man could survive long periods in space and that spacecraft could rendezvous and dock with a target vehicle in space and could use the target vehicle's propulsion system to achieve a new orbit. Thus, Gemini achieved all its goals to pave the way for the Apollo flights and for other space programs
Gemini's modular system design, which replaced Mercury's stacked system concept, simplified construction, testing, and operation of the spacecraft. Modular design permitted virtually independent design, qualification, and system checkout. Reliability analysis was possible without the complications of interacting influences of associated systems. Spacecraft 7/6 mission, hailed as one of the high points of the program, was made possible because launch crews were able, despite a tight time schedule, to remove the rendezvous and recovery section (R & R) of Spacecraft 7 and modify it for tracking by Spacecraft 6. Another example of the effectiveness of the modular design was the Gemini XII mission which was totally changed and replanned within two weeks. Gemini system design was simplified by extensive use of manual sequencing and systems management, utilizing the astronaut's ability to diagnose failures and to take corrective action.