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Gemini Flies!: Unmanned Flights and the First Manned Mission (Springer Praxis Books)

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Gemini Flies!

Unmanned Flights and the First Manned Mission (Springer Praxis Books)

By David J. Shayler

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Format: Paperback, 1st ed. 2018 Edition
Other Information: 75 Illustrations, color; 25 Illustrations, black and white; Approx. 300 p. 100 illus., 75 illus. in color.
This book explains how the testing program of the next-stage space exploration mission was completed. In this pre-Apollo stage, the vehicle's ability to move in space was demonstrated, and the dawn of a new era of operational activities in Earth orbit commenced. When Gemini 3 became the first manned flight of the highly successful series of ten missions the spring of 1965, it paved the way for Apollo to reach the Moon later in the decade. Tasked with addressing key objectives and challenges in order to gain experience and knowledge from living and working in space, as opposed to just surviving the ride, Gemini also afforded NASA with the skills that remain relevant 50 years later, on time launches, rendezvous and docking, EVA, long duration flight, and completing the flight with a safe and accurate recovery. Often in the shadow of its famous pioneering predecessor Mercury, or lost in the glory of Apollo, the two man Gemini flights provided the vital link between proving humans could survive in space for a few hours and being able to accomplish useful work during missions of up to two weeks. Building upon the success of Project Mercury, Gemini 3 provided the first step in a program that gave NASA the confidence that America could reach the Moon with Apollo by the end of the decade. The Gemini 3 flight also saw the appearance of the first member of NASA's second class of astronauts, a selection that has been said to have been the best group ever chosen by the space agency, some of whom participated not only in the Gemini program but also during the Apollo era.This book continues the Pioneers in Early Spaceflight series to examine each flight in the Mercury and Gemini series. Despite the challenges, Gemini 3 and its two-man crew undertook a huge gamble, and one which fortunately paid off. The mission was also the first time the mission control center at the Manned Spacecraft Center, near Houston, Texas, was utilized for monitoring the mission, commencing a tradition that continues today with the International Space Station program.

Table of Contents

Preface.- Chapter 1 : Gemini - a bridge to the moon.- Chapter 2: Testing the hardware.- Chapter 3: The first Gemini `twins'.- Chapter 4: Preparations and plans.- Chapter 5: `You're on your way Molly Brown'.- Chapter 6: Gemini changes orbit.- Chapter 7: The Sandwich Saga.- Chapter 8: Getting Down.- Chapter 9: Homecoming.- Appendices.- Bibliography.- Index.

About the Author

Dave Shayler's interest in the U.S. Gemini program began during the late 1960s while reading about the earlier missions of Apollo astronauts as they prepared for the first lunar landings. The skills learned, which secured their seats on Apollo, were achieved during ten Gemini missions flown between March 1965 and November 1966. From that early research he learned that Gemini was an important steppingstone to Apollo and though short it was a critical program, not only as preparation for going to the Moon but also in planning future programs. Even today, nearly 50 years after the final Gemini spacecraft flew, the program holds a special place in the hearts of those who worked on it. Over the years this research continued and resulted in visits to the NASA JSC facilities and archives in Houston and the NARA records offices in Fort Worth, Texas where many of the official Gemini documents had been retired. Dave had the good fortune to meet and interview astronauts and engineers who worked on the programme and access retired documentation from that exciting era. In 1976, as his interest in human spaceflight developed, he joined the British Interplanetary Society; in 1984 Dave was elected a Fellow and since 2013 has served as a member of the BIS Council. For the past few years he has served as Chair for the BIS Library Committee and as Coordinator and Co-Chair of the annual Soviet/Chinese Technical Forum. In addition in 1990 he became a co-founder and Chairman of the Midlands Spaceflight Society. In order to focus research and writing activities he formed his own company, Astro Info Service, in October 1982. Together with his writing activities this has allowed Dave to travel to the United States and Russia to tour leading spaceflight facilities, interview astronauts, cosmonauts, managers and engineers and research official documentation on various aspects of human space history, including hardware and operations for the Gemini program. In addition he has completed an extensive program of lectures, presentations and workshops across the UK to various educational, social and professional groups, and has supported the work of several fellow authors and researchers, with many of his efforts being referenced or suggested for further reading. In 2001 this work resulted in Dave Shayler's fourth book under the Praxis/Springer series entitled GEMINI Steps to the Moon, which presented an overview of the whole program.

EAN: 9783319681412
ISBN: 3319681419
Publisher: Springer International Publishing AG
Dimensions: 24 x 16.8 centimetres
Age Range: 15+ years
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