Gemini IX-A was the seventh crewed Earth-orbiting mission of the Gemini series. It carried astronauts Tom Stafford and Gene Cernan. Primary mission objectives were to demonstrate (1) rendezvous techniques and docking with a target vehicle to simulate maneuvers to be carried out on future Apollo missions, (2) an Extravehicular Activity (EVA) spacewalk to test the Astronaut Maneuvering Unit (AMU), and (3) precision landing capability. Scientific objectives included obtaining zodiacal light and airglow horizon photographs. Two micrometeorite studies were to be carried out, and there were also one medical and two technological experiments.
3 days, 20 minutes, 50 seconds
June 3, 1966
June 6, 1966
Gemini IX crew Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan.
The Gemini IX Crew
Elliot M. See Jr.
Original Gemini IX command pilot, died in plane crash on February 28, 1966.
Charles A. Bassett
Original Gemini IX pilot, died in plane crash on February 28, 1966.
Thomas P. Stafford
Backup command pilot, promoted to prime crew after the death of the original prime crew.
Eugene A. Cernan
Backup pilot, promoted to prime crew after the death of the original prime crew.
NASA space science data coordinated archive
The NSSDC provides an in-depth overview of the Gemini IX mission objectives, spacecraft, and program.
S66-37972 (3 June 1966) ?– The Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA) is photographed from the Gemini-9 spacecraft during one of three rendezvous occasions in space. The ATDA and Gemini-9 spacecraft are 35.5 feet apart in this view. Failure of the docking adapter protective cover on the ATDA to fully separate prevented the docking of the two spacecraft. The ATDA was described by the Gemini-9 crew members as an ?angry alligator.? Photo credit: NASA
55 Years Ago: Gemini IX and the Angry Alligator
The primary goals of Project Gemini included proving the techniques required for the Apollo Program to fulfill President John F.…