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On the Shoulders of Titans:
A History of Project Gemini

Gemini IX-A

Pad LC-19 (24) 
Titan-II (9) 


Thomas P. Stafford, Commander 
Eugene A. Cernan, Pilot 
Backup Crew CapCom

James A. Lovell, Jr.
Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. 

Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. (Cape, Houston) 
Neil A. Armstrong (Houston) 
James A. Lovell, Jr. (Houston) 
Richard F. Gordon, Jr. (Houston) 



Gemini-IX-a capsule
Altitude: 311.5km (168nm) 
Inclination: 28.86 degrees 
Orbits: 47 
Duration: 72 hours, 20 min, 50 seconds 
Distance: 2,020,741km  

Mission Objective

Primary objective was to perform rendezvous and docking and conduct EVA. 

Secondary objectives included: Rendezvous with ATDA (launched 6/1/66 from Complex 14) in 3rd revolution. Conduct systems evaluation and equi-period rendezvous. Execute 7 experiments. Practice Docking, rendezvous from above and demonstrate controlled reentry. The original crew of Gemini-IX, Elliott M. See and Charles Bassett were killed in an airplane crash on February 28, 1966. The backup crew was named to the prime crew positions. Spacecraft weight: 3750kg. ATDA weight: 1088kg 



June 3, 1966 8:39:33.335 am EST. GT-9 was postponed when TLV 5303 with Gemini Agena target vehicle GATV-5004 malfunctioned on May 17. In its place, a substitute target was used for GT-9A; the Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA) was launched by an Atlas on June 1, 1966 (TLV-5304) from Launch Complex 14. However, GT-9A was not launched the same day as planned due to a guidance system computer problem. After a brief hold, the spacecraft was launched on the 3rd day.  June 6, 1966. Landing was at 27deg 52min N and 75deg 0.4min West. Miss distance .704 miles (.38nm). Recovery ship USS Wasp (crew onboard in 52 min). 

Mission Highlights

Primary objective of rendezvous and docking was only partially achieved because the shroud on the ATDA failed to jettison. Instead GT-9A performed a number of rendezvous maneuvers, including a simulation of lunar module rendezvous. EVA time was 2 hours, 9 minutes, a new EVA endurance record.  During EVA maneuvers, Cernan's visor became fogged, and he was unable to test the Air Force astronaut maneuvering unit. 

Secondary objective experiment S-10, Agena Micrometerorite Collection experiment was not attempted because EVA did not take place near Gemini Agena target vehicle (GATV). 


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