Gemini 10

Gemini 10 (GT -10 ) was a manned space flight under the U.S. Gemini program.


Commander of Gemini 10 was John Young, who was already with Gemini 3 in space, and thus made ​​his second space flight. As a pilot Michael Collins has been selected. The special preparation for this flight began for the team in January 1966.

The backup crew of Gemini 10 was first from Jim Lovell and Edwin Aldrin. The death of Elliott Lake and Charles Bassett on February 28, 1966 which were intended as the main crew for Gemini 9, however, resulted in the next month to some changes in the team assignments: Tom Stafford and Eugene Cernan, the previous backup crew of Gemini 9, were the new main team. Lovell and Aldrin, the previous backup crew of Gemini 10, was new backup crew of Gemini 9 New backup crew of Gemini 10 were Alan L. Bean and Clifton Williams.

Connection spokesman for this flight were the Mercury veteran Gordon Cooper and Edwin Aldrin.


So far it has succeeded in the Gemini flights only once to couple the spacecraft to a target satellite, but it came at Gemini 8 in great difficulties; at Gemini 9, the coupling had been quite impossible. Therefore, 10 great emphasis was placed on the coupling with the Agena satellites at Gemini.

Another highlight should be a spacewalk by Mike Collins.

The Gemini spacecraft No. 10 was delivered by McDonnell on May 13, 1966 in Cape Kennedy, built the Titan rocket on June 7. Two days later, the spaceship on the launcher to be mounted.

History of the flight

The mission of Gemini 10 began on July 18, 1966 20:39 UTC with the launch of satellites Agena GATV -10 (Gemini Agena Target Vehicle) by an Atlas - Agena rocket.

At 22:20 UTC the Gemini spacecraft followed with a Titan rocket. Upon reaching orbit Gemini was removed 10 still 1600 km from GATV -10. The optical navigation by the astronauts failed because the calculated values ​​are not matched with those of the ground stations.

Gemini 10 was approaching the target satellite and coupled on July 19 at 4:13 UTC on easily. Due to different orbits several course corrections were necessary, the already eroded in a large part of the fuel supply, and therefore, had to dispense with further coupling maneuvers that were originally planned.

The engine of GATV -10 was ignited and brought Gemini 10 to a higher orbit. It was the first time in the history of manned space flight that a spaceship docked not only to another missile, but also took advantage of its drive. This track change flew the astronauts with their backs to the direction of flight and were forced into the straps through the acceleration forward.

With 763 km of altitude record, which was held until then by the crew of Voskhod 2 with 475 km, was outbid by far.

Mike Collins led on July 19th at 21:44 UTC the first outboard activity of the mission through by, photographed in the open hatch standing for 49 minutes the stars and the earth. This type of outboard activity, in which the astronaut does not leave the spaceship is (abbr.: SEVA ) stand-up EVA called.

After a further course corrections Gemini 10 was brought to the same orbit as GATV -8, the target satellite, which was launched in March for Gemini 8. The batteries of GATV -8 were empty, so that the radar responder did not work and the crew had to rely on visual navigation.

The approach to GATV -8 worked without any problems. Young controlled Gemini 10 up to a distance of two meters to the target. Collins left on July 20th at 23:07 UTC the Gemini spacecraft and pulled himself to the Agena to get from there a plate for determination of micrometeorite activity. On the first attempt he slipped on the smooth surface from and staggered into space, but was able to stabilize its position. On the second try he could dismantle the drive successfully, but lost it his Hasselblad camera. When he got into the spaceship, he got tangled up in the security line.


The next day (July 21 ) lit Gemini 10 20:31 UTC, the braking rockets and splashed down 36 minutes later in the Western Atlantic Ocean, 5.4 km away from the target point. The astronauts were brought on board a helicopter for recovery ship USS Guadalcanal.

Importance for the Gemini program

A total of 10 Gemini could be viewed as a success. The rendezvous with two different target satellite worked fine, as is the docking and the firing of the Agena engine. A problem was still the outboard activities in which the astronaut could work far less efficiently than planned. For more flights more time and rest had to be scheduled.

For the Agena, the mission was not finished after the landing of Gemini - return capsule. NASA technicians detonated the engine remotely and brought them to a different path in order to measure the temperatures at different distances from the earth.