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Gemini Titan 3 mission patch with the words Grissom-Young and Molly Brown on it.

Gemini III

Occurred 59 years ago

Gemini III (GT-3) was the first crewed Earth-orbiting spacecraft of the Gemini series. It was piloted by astronauts Virgil "Gus" Grissom and John Young, with the primary objective of demonstrating the crewed qualifications of the Gemini spacecraft including evaluation of the two-man Gemini design, the worldwide tracking network, the orbit attitude and maneuver system, the control of reentry flight path and landing point, spacecraft systems, and spacecraft recovery. Secondary objectives included evaluation of flight crew equipment and effects of low level launch vehicle oscillations on the crew, performance of three experiments, and to obtain photographic coverage from orbit.

Mission Type

Human Spaceflight

Mission Duration

4 hours, 52 minutes, 31 seconds


March 23, 1965


March 23, 1965
S65-19225 (23 March 1965) — This view of astronauts John W. Young (left), pilot, and Virgil I. Grissom, command pilot, was taken through the window of the open hatch on Young’s side of the Gemini-Titan 3 spacecraft just before the hatches were closed in readiness for their three-orbit flight.

Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom

Command Pilot

One of NASA’s first seven Mercury astronauts selected by NASA in April 1959. He piloted the “Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft—the second and final suborbital Mercury test flight—on July 21, 1961. On March 23, 1965, he served as command pilot on the first crewed Gemini flight, A 3-orbit mission during which the crew accomplished the first orbital trajectory modifications and the first lifting reentry of a manned spacecraft.

Read More About Gus Grissom
Official portrait of Gus Grissom with model shuttle in front of US flag
Astronaut Virgil I. (Gus) Grissom
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