GEMINI XII (November 11-15 1966)


At the completion of the previous Gemini flights, the program still had not demonstrated that an astronaut could work easily and efficiently outside the spacecraft.

In preparation for Gemini XII, new, improved restraints were added to the outside of the capsule, and a new technique—underwater training—was introduced, which would become a staple of all future space-walk simulation.

Aldrin's two-hour, 20-minute tethered space-walk, during which he photographed star fields, retrieved a micrometeorite collector and did other chores, at last demonstrated the feasibility of extravehicular activity.

Two more stand-up EVAs also went smoothly, as did the by­ now routine rendezvous and docking with an Agena which was done "manually" using the onboard computer and charts when a rendezvous radar failed.

The climb to a higher orbit, however, was canceled because of a problem with the Agena booster.

Many documentaries afterward largely credit the spacewalk innovations, including the underwater training, to Aldrin himself.

Gemini 12 successfully performed all of the required rendezvous and docking procedures with the Agena target vehicle, conducted three Extravehicular Activity (EVA) operations, tethering the Agena as a stationkeeping exercise, performed docked maneuvers using the Agena propulsion system to change orbit, and demonstrated an automatic reentry.

Finally, the Gemini program was accomplished.

For the first time, getting to the moon seemed possible!


Here is the summary report for Gemini XII