All week long technicians have been giving the Gemini Eight capsule its final series of checks to prepare for the Gemini Eight mission.
All week long technicians have been giving the Gemini Eight capsule its final series of checks to prepare for the Gemini Eight mission. The capsule passed a series of electrical checks on Wednesday (2 March), the same day that the Gemini Nine capsule arrived by air at Cape Kennedy.
The Gemini Nine mission is scheduled for late spring or early summer. It was to have been flown by Astronauts Elliot See and Charles Bassett before they were killed in a plane crash earlier this week in St.Louis. The mission will now be flown by the back-up crew. The Gemini Nine capsule was flown to Cape Kennedy from the factory in St.Louis. It was unloaded from the cargo aircraft Wednesday night. After unloading it was transferred to a building at the Space Center to undergo pre-launch preparations. Ultimately it will take its place atop a Titan rocket on Pad 19.
Gemini Eight is sitting securely atop its Titan on Pad 19, awaiting its scheduled march 15 launch, with the rocket and capsule enclosed by the erector structure. That part of the erector enclosing the capsule is known as the White room because it is kept surgically clean. Technicians wear white coveralls and caps to keep dust out of the delicate mechanisms.
Gemini Eight is planned for 72 hours. During the mission the crew will attempt to rendezvous with a modified Agena target vehicle and will also attempt another "walk in space".