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astronautix.com Gemini LOR

Gemini Docks with LM
Gemini Docks with LM - Gemini rendezvous above lunar surface with open cockpit Lunar Module after first lunar landing in 1966

Credit: © Mark Wade. 36,780 bytes. 373 x 288 pixels.



Manufacturer's Designation: McDonnell-Douglas. Class: Manned. Type: Lunar orbiter. Nation: USA. Agency: NASA. Manufacturer: McDonnell-Douglas.

Original Mercury Mark II proposal foresaw a Gemini capsule and a single-crew open cockpit lunar lander undertaking a lunar orbit rendezvous mission, launched by a Titan C-3.


Specification

Craft.Crew Size: 2.


Gemini LOR Chronology


07 May 1961 Titan II proposed for lunar landing program Program: Apollo. Launch Vehicle: Titan 2.

Albert C. Hall of The Martin Company proposed to Robert C. Seamans, Jr., NASA's Associate Administrator, that the Titan II be considered as a launch vehicle in the lunar landing program. Although skeptical, Seamans arranged for a more formal presentation the next day. Abe Silverstein, NASA's Director of Space Flight Programs, was sufficiently impressed to ask Director Robert R. Gilruth and STG to study the possible uses of Titan II. Silverstein shortly informed Seamans of the possibility of using the Titan II to launch a scaled-up Mercury spacecraft.


01 July 1961 Space Task Group engineers proposed adapting the improved Mercury spacecraft to a 35,000-pound payload, including a 5,000-pound "lunar lander". Program: Apollo. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-3.

Space Task Group engineers James A. Chamberlin and James T. Rose proposed adapting the improved Mercury spacecraft to a 35,000-pound payload, including a 5,000-pound 'lunar lander.' This payload would be launched by a Saturn C-3 in the lunar-orbit-rendezvous mode. The proposal was in direct competition with the Apollo proposals that favored direct landing on the Moon with a 150,000-pound payload launched by a Nova-class vehicle of approximately 12 million pounds of thrust.


31 July 1961 Improved Mercury proposed for lunar landing Program: Apollo. Launch Vehicle: Saturn C-3, Nova 8L.

James A. Chamberlin and James T. Rose of STG proposed adapting the improved Mercury spacecraft to a 35,000-pound payload, including a 5,000-pound "lunar lander." This payload would be launched by a Saturn C-3 in the lunar orbit rendezvous mode. The proposal was in direct competition with the Apollo proposals that favored direct landing on the moon and involved a 150,000-pound payload launched by a Nova-class vehicle with approximately 12 million pounds of thrust.


31 August 1961 Presentation to STG on rendezvous and the lunar orbit rendezvous plan Program: Gemini.


Gemini-Centaur-LMGemini-Centaur-LM - Gemini for lunar landing with Centaur and Langley open cockpit Lunar Module

Credit: © Mark Wade. 2,613 bytes. 632 x 143 pixels.


John C. Houbolt of Langley Research Center made a presentation to STG on rendezvous and the lunar orbit rendezvous plan. At this time James A. Chamberlin of STG requested copies of all of Houbolt's material because of the pertinence of this work to the Mercury Mark II program and other programs then under consideration.
06 December 1961 Preliminary project plan for the Mercury Mark II program Program: Gemini.

D. Brainerd Holmes, NASA Director of Manned Space Flight, outlined the preliminary project development plan for the Mercury Mark II program in a memorandum to NASA Associate Administrator Robert C. Seamans, Jr. The primary objective of the program was to develop rendezvous techniques; important secondary objectives were long-duration flights, controlled land recovery, and astronaut training. The development of rendezvous capability, Holmes stated, was essential:

The plan was approved by Seamans on December 7. The Mercury Mark II program was renamed "Gemini" on January 3, 1962.

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Last update 12 March 2001.
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