Gemini 12

Backup crew

Mission parameters

  • Mass
    Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

    3762.1 kilograms (8,294 lb)
  • Perigee
    Perigee is the point at which an object makes its closest approach to the Earth.. Often the term is used in a broader sense to define the point in an orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the body it orbits. The opposite is the apogee, the farthest or highest point.The Greek prefix "peri"...

    160.8 kilometres (99.9 mi)
  • Apogee: 270.6 kilometres (168.1 mi)
  • Inclination
    Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction.-Orbits:The inclination is one of the six orbital parameters describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit...

  • Period
    Orbital period
    The orbital period is the time taken for a given object to make one complete orbit about another object.When mentioned without further qualification in astronomy this refers to the sidereal period of an astronomical object, which is calculated with respect to the stars.There are several kinds of...

    88.87 min


  • Docked: November 12, 1966 - 01:06:00 UTC
  • Undocked: November 13, 1966 - 20:18:00 UTC

Space walk

  • Aldrin - EVA 1 - (stand up)
    • Start: November 12, 1966, 16:15:00 UTC
    • End: November 12, 1966, 18:44:00 UTC
    • Duration: 2 hours, 29 minutes
  • Aldrin - EVA 2
    • Start: November 13, 1966, 15:34:00 UTC
    • End: November 13, 1966, 17:40:00 UTC
    • Duration: 2 hours, 06 minutes
  • Aldrin - EVA 3 (stand up)
    • Start: November 14, 1966, 14:52:00 UTC
    • End: November 14, 1966, 15:47:00 UTC
    • Duration: 0 hours, 55 minutes


At the completion of the previous Gemini flight, the program still had not demonstrated that an astronaut could work easily and efficiently outside the spacecraft. In preparation for Gemini XII new, improved restraints were added to the outside of the capsule, and a new technique—underwater training—was introduced, which would become a staple of future space-walk simulation. Aldrin's two-hour, 20-minute tethered space-walk, during which he photographed star fields, retrieved a micrometeorite collector and did other chores, at last demonstrated the feasibility of extravehicular activity. Two more stand-up EVAs also went smoothly, as did the by-now routine rendezvous and docking with an Agena which was done "manually" using the onboard computer and charts when a rendezvous radar failed. The climb to a higher orbit, however, was canceled because of a problem with the Agena
Agena Target Vehicle
The Agena Target Vehicle was an unmanned spacecraft used by NASA during its Gemini program to develop and practice orbital space rendezvous and docking techniques and to perform large orbital changes, in preparation for the Apollo program lunar missions.-Operations:Each ATV consisted of an Agena-D...


Many documentaries afterward largely credit the spacewalk innovations, including the underwater training, to Aldrin himself.

Gemini 12 was designed to perform rendezvous and docking with the Agena target vehicle, to conduct three Extravehicular Activity (EVA) operations, to conduct a tethered stationkeeping exercise, to perform docked maneuvers using the Agena propulsion system to change orbit, and demonstrate an automatic reentry.
Gemini 12 Agena info
Agena GATV-5001A
NSSDC ID: 1966-103A
Mass 3175 kilograms (6,999.7 lb)
Launch site LC-14
Launch date November 11, 1966
Launch time 19:07:58 UTC
1st perigee 294.7 kilometres (183.1 mi)
1st apogee 303.2 kilometres (188.4 mi)
Period 90.56 m
Inclination 28.86
Reentered December 23, 1966


The 14 scientific experiments were (1) frog egg growth under zero-g, (2) synoptic terrain photography, (3) synoptic weather photography, (4) nuclear emulsions, (5) airglow horizon photography, (6) UV astronomical photography, and (7) dim sky photography. Two micrometeorite collection experiments, as well as three space phenomena photography experiments, were not fully completed.


The capsule was controlled on reentry by computer and splashed down 4.8 kilometers from its target.

The Gemini 12 mission was supported by the following U.S. Department of Defense resources; 9,775 personnel, 65 aircraft and 12 ships.


The patch's unique orange and black colors are a link to the flight's original scheduled date close to Halloween. The Roman numeral XII is located at the 12 o'clock position on the face of a clock, with the Gemini spacecraft pointing to it like the hour hand of a clock. This represents the position of Gemini 12 as the last flight of the Gemini program. With the Apollo project following this last flight of the Gemini program, the ultimate objective—the moon—is symbolized by the crescent on the left.

Spacecraft location

After several years at the Museum of Transport and Technology
Museum of Transport and Technology
The Museum of Transport and Technology is a museum located in Western Springs, Auckland, New Zealand. It is located close to the Western Springs Stadium, Auckland Zoo and the Western Springs Park. The museum has large collections of civilian and military aircraft and other land transport vehicles...

, in Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, the spacecraft was returned to the United States. It is now on display at the Adler Planetarium
Adler Planetarium
The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago, Illinois was the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere and is the oldest in existence today. Adler was founded and built in 1930 by the philanthropist Max Adler, with the assistance of the first director of the planetarium, Philip Fox...

, Chicago, Illinois. Lovell and Aldrin were reunited with the spacecraft November 9, 2006 during the opening for Adler's "Shoot for the Moon" exhibit, almost 40 years after the mission launched. Lovell and Aldrin's voices are used for the exhibit's recorded narration.

See also

  • Agena Target Vehicle
    Agena Target Vehicle
    The Agena Target Vehicle was an unmanned spacecraft used by NASA during its Gemini program to develop and practice orbital space rendezvous and docking techniques and to perform large orbital changes, in preparation for the Apollo program lunar missions.-Operations:Each ATV consisted of an Agena-D...

  • Extra-vehicular activity
    Extra-vehicular activity
    Extra-vehicular activity is work done by an astronaut away from the Earth, and outside of a spacecraft. The term most commonly applies to an EVA made outside a craft orbiting Earth , but also applies to an EVA made on the surface of the Moon...

  • List of spacewalks
  • Splashdown
    Splashdown (spacecraft landing)
    Splashdown is the method of landing a spacecraft by parachute in a body of water. It was used by American manned spacecraft prior to the Space Shuttle program. It is also possible for the Russian Soyuz spacecraft and Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft to land in water, though this is only a contingency...

  • Solar eclipse of November 12, 1966
    Solar eclipse of November 12, 1966
    A total solar eclipse occurred on November 12, 1966. The path of totality cut a swath across South America from north of Lima, Peru, nearly to the southernmost tip of Brazil.-Observations:The NASA Gemini XII mission observed this total eclipse from space:...

  • Space suit
    Space suit
    A space suit is a garment worn to keep an astronaut alive in the harsh environment of outer space. Space suits are often worn inside spacecraft as a safety precaution in case of loss of cabin pressure, and are necessary for extra-vehicular activity , work done outside spacecraft...

External links

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