Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Mission Name:||Gemini 11|
|Call Sign:||Gemini 11|
|Launch:||September 12, 1966|
|Landing:||September 15, 1966|
|Duration:||2 days, 23 hours|
|Distance Traveled:||~1,983,565 km|
|Gemini 11 Crew|
Gemini 11 (officially Gemini XI) was a 1966 manned spaceflight in NASA's Gemini program. It was the 9th manned Gemini flight, the 17th manned American flight and the 25th spaceflight of all time (includes X-15 flights over 100 km).
Conrad had flown once before, on Gemini V; Gordon was on his first flight.
- Mass: 3,798.4 kg
Highest orbit (followed twice):
- Perigee: 289.7 km
- Apogee: 1374.1 km (a record; apart from the missions to the Moon this has, as of 2004, never been surpassed)
- Inclination: 28.85°
- Period: 101.52 m
- Gordon - EVA 1
- Gordon - EVA 2 (stand up)
With Apollo looming on the horizon, Gemini project managers wanted to accomplish a rendezvous immediately after reaching orbit, just as it would have to be done around the Moon. Only 85 minutes after launch, Conrad and Gordon matched orbits with their Agena target stage and docked several times. Conrad had originally hoped for a Gemini flight around the Moon, but had to settle for the highest Earth orbit ever reached by an American manned spacecraft (1374.1 kilometer altitude). Gordon's first space-walk once again proved more difficult than ground simulations, and had to be cut short when he became overtired. A second, two-hour "stand-up" space walk went more smoothly: Gordon even fell asleep while floating halfway out the hatch. An experiment to link the Agena and Gemini vehicles with a 15.24 meter tether (which Gordon had attached during his space-walk) and rotate the joined pair was troublesome-Conrad had problems keeping the tether taut-but was able to generate a modicum of "artificial gravity." The mission ended with the first totally automatic, computer-controlled reentry, which brought Gemini XI down only 4.506 kilometers from its recovery ship.
Gemini 11 was designed to achieve a first orbit rendezvous and docking with the Agena target vehicle, to accomplish two extra-vehicular activity (EVA) tests, to perform docking practice, docked configuration maneuvers, tethered operations, parking of the Agena target vehicle and demonstrate an automatic reentry.
|Gemini 11||Agena Info|
|Launch Date||September 12, 1966|
|Launch Time||13:05:01 UTC|
|1st Perigee||289.7 km|
|1st Apogee||307.1 km|
|Reentered||December 30, 1966|
The 12 scientific experiments were (1) synergistic effect of zero-g and radiation on white blood cells, (2) synoptic terrain photography, (3) synoptic weather photography, (4) nuclear emulsions, (5) airglow horizon photography, (6) UV astronomical photography, (7) Gemini ion wake measurement, and (8) dim sky photography.
The reentry was the first computer-controlled reentry in the US space program. They landed only 4.5 km away from the intended landing site and were recovered by USS Guam.
The Gemini 11 mission was supported by the following U.S. Department of Defense resources; 9,054 personnel, 73 aircraft and 13 ships.
On the Gemini 11 crew insigina, stars are used to mark the major milestones of the mission. The first orbit Agena rendezvous is marked by a small gold star just above the earth, to the left. The Agena docking is marked by a large star on the left. The star at the top marks the record high apogee (1,368 km) reached by Gemini 11. Finally the star on right marks Dick Gordons spacewalk. The docking, record apogee and spacewalk are also shown on the patch by the Agena, orbital apogee path and spacewalking astronaut. The patch is done in U.S. Navy colors, blue and gold. Conrad and Gordon were both members of the U.S. Navy.
The capsule is on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California.
- On The Shoulders of Titans: A History of Project Gemini
- Spaceflight Mission Patches
- U.S. Space Objects Registry http://usspaceobjectsregistry.state.gov/search/index.cfm
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