Gemini Ten astronauts John Young and Michael Collins splashed down in the Western Atlantic at seven minutes after 5 p.
Gemini Ten astronauts John Young and Michael Collins splashed down in the Western Atlantic at seven minutes after 5 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) On Thursday (21 July), exactly on schedule after a three day mission in outer space.
The spacecraft landed about five miles away from the prime recovery ship, the aircraft carrier Guadalcanal. The descent was almost as close to the target as Gemini 9, and for the second time, the last few minutes of the descent and the splashdown were watched on live television by millions of people across the United States.
The two astronauts climbed out of the spacecraft and into the rubber life raft inflated by the frogmen. Then, they chose to be pulled up by cable into the recovery helicopter and were flown to the flight deck of the aircraft carrier. As they landed, the Guadalcanal's band began to play. The two astronauts were greeted by naval officers and officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
After that, they walked down a red carpet with the band still playing, and each man made a brief statement, thanking all those who played a part in the flight and recovery of Gemini 10.
Then, they were led to a medical examination room below decks for the first of several physical tests. The Gemini 10 flight lasted about 70 hours and carried the two Americans to 472 statute miles above the earth...the highest any space travellers have ever flown before.