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Gemini 8

Gemini 8's crew consisted of Neil Armstrong and David Scott, both making their first spaceflight. This flight was the first rendezvous and docking with an unmanned target vehicle (the Agena). That honor was to have gone to Gemini 6, but their Agena failed to make orbit and Gemini 6 instead had the honor of being part of the first rendezvous with another manned spacecraft.

However, shortly after Gemini 8 docked a thruster stuck in the "on" position on the spacecraft, and the spacecraft started spinning wildly. Armstrong used the re-entry control thrusters to stop the spin. Mission rules dictated that the spacecraft reenter as soon as possible after the re-entry control thrusters were fired, so the mission ended after fewer than 11 hours.

Gemini 8 is displayed in a spacious, well-lit gallery with relatively few obstacles. It can be photographed both from the main floor and from the ramp leading to the upstairs galleries. If not for the plexiglas protecting it, it would be a joy to photograph!

 

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