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On the Shoulders of Titans:
A History of Project Gemini

Gemini XI

Pad LC-19 (26)
Titan-II (11)


Charles Conrad Jr. 
Richard F. Gordon Jr.  
Backup Crew CapCom



Gemini-XI capsule  
Altitude: 1368.9 km (739.2nm) 
Inclination: 28.83 degrees 
Orbits: 44 
Duration: 71 hours 17 min 8 seconds 
Distance: 1,983,565 km 

Mission Objective

Primary objective was to rendezvous and dock with Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV-5006) which was launched 9/12/66 from Launch Complex 14 as TLV-5306 in 1st revolution. Secondary objectives included: Practice docking, Perform EVA. Conduct 11 experiments, Maneuver while docked (high apogee excursion), Conduct tethered vehicle test, Demonstrate automatic reentry and Park GATV-10 in 352.4km orbit. Spacecraft weight: 3798kg. GATV weight: 8097kg.   



September 12, 1966 9:42:26.546 am EST. The launch was postponed twice; On September 9 due to a small leak in the first stage oxidizer tank of the GLV; and on the 10th due to a suspected malfunction of the autopilot on the GLV. On the day of the launch there was a 16 min hold due to a suspected leak around the command pilot's hatch.  September 15, 1966. Landing was at 24deg 15.4min North and 70deg 0.0min West. Miss distance was 4.9km (2.65nm). Recovery ship USS Guam (crew onboard in 24 min).

Mission Highlights

All Primary objectives and most secondary objectives were achieved. Experiment D-16, Power Tool Evaluation was canceled when the EVA was terminated early. During EVA, astronaut Gordon tethered the two spacecraft together with a 30-meter line. Automatic reentry was successful. 


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