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On the Shoulders of Titans:
A History of Project Gemini

Gemini III

Pad LC-19 (18)
Titan-II (3)  


Virgil I. Grissom, commander 
John W. Young, pilot 

Backup Crew CapCom



Gemini-III capsule  
Altitude: 224km 
Inclination: 33.0 degrees 
Orbits: 3 
Duration: 0 Days, 4 hours, 52 min, 31 seconds
Distance: 128,748 km

Mission Objective

Demonstrate manned orbital flight; evaluate two-man design. Demonstrate and evaluate tracking network. Demonstrate OAMS capability in orbital maneuvers and in retrofire backup. Demonstrate controlled reentry and landing. Evaluate major spacecraft subsystems. Demonstrate systems checkout, prelaunch, and launch procedures. Demonstrate and evaluate recovery procedures and systems. Spacecraft weight: 3225kg. 

Secondary objectives included: Evaluate flight crew equipment, biomedical instrumentation, and personal hygiene system. Perform 3 experiments. Evaluate low-level longitudinal oscillations (Pogo) of the GLV. General photographic coverage in orbit. 



March 23, 1965 9:24:00.064 am EST. There was one brief hold on launch day while a sensor on an oxidizer line was adjusted.  March 23, 1965. Landing at 22deg26m North and 70deg 51min West. Miss distance from landing zone 111.1km (60nm). Recovered by USS Intrepid. Crew onboard in 70 min.

Mission Highlights

All primary objectives were achieved except the controlled reentry objective was only partially achieved. The angle of attack during reentry was lower than expected. Secondary objectives were only partially achieved. The personal hygiene system was only partially tested, Operating mechanism failed on S-2 - Synergistic Effect of Zero Gravity on Sea Urchin Eggs Experiment and the photographic coverage objective was only partially successful because of an improper lens setting on the 16mm camera.  


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