The U.S. National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA) is preparing for the final Gemini mission?
The U.S. National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA) is preparing for the final Gemini mission - Gemini Twelve - which is scheduled for launch on November 9. As in recent Gemini missions, the astronauts on Gemini Twelve plan to rendezvous and dock several times with an Agena target vehicle. One of them will work outside his space ship in a space walk - what NASA calla "EVA", or Extra-Vehicular Activity.
As in all the Gemini missions, Gemini Twelve will be launched by a Titan II rocket. Our film shows the second stage of this rocket being erected. The upper stage - as with the first stage before it - is placed in a huge erector device and simply swung up into position. The erector contains the elevator and the white room which Command Pilot James A. Lovell and Pilot Edwin E. Aldrin will use to board Gemini Twelve. Shortly before launch, the erector is lowered out of the way.
Command Pilot Lovell (a Navy Commander) and Pilot Aldrin (an Air Force Major) have both undergone the "weight and balance" tests, preliminary to all space flights so far. Our film shows Lovell being given the tests. The tests measure precisely the centre of gravity of the individual astronaut adn the contour seat he sits in. During the four-day Gemini Twelve mission, Command Pilot Lovell will serve as the captain of his tiny ship and will carry out the rendezvous and docking missions. Pilot Aldrin is scheduled for the EVA experiments.
Shortly before erection of the Titan was completed, NASA erected the Atlas rocket that will boost the Agena Target vehicle into space. This vehicle is of the now-familiar type resembling a cylinder with a hole in one end into which the nose of the Gemini space craft is inserted. The Atlas rocket used to launch it is brought out to its launch pad on a giant trailer; then the trailer is swung up to the vertical, erecting the rocket.
The Gemini programme ends with the flight of Gemini Twelve. From then on, U.S. manned space missions are to be flown in the three-man Apollo capsule, launched by the Saturn rocket. The Apollo programme is to culminate with a manned landing on the moon.