The second U.S. manned space program was announced in January 1962.
Its two-man crew gave it its name, Gemini, for the third constellation of the
Zodiac and its twin stars, Castor and Pollux. Gemini involved 12 flights,
including two unmanned flight tests of the equipment. Like Mercury's, its major objectives were
- To subject man and equipment to space flight
up to two weeks in duration.
- To rendezvous and dock with orbiting vehicles
and to maneuver the docked combination by using the target vehicle's propulsion system;
- To perfect methods of entering the atmosphere
and landing at a preselected point on land. Its goals were also met, with the exception
of a land landing, which was cancelled in 1964.