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I randomly stumbled across this old Gemini 3 mission transcript online. On the last page, after splash-down, the crew begins corresponding with "Big Box 15" and "Big Box 14" — I'm assuming these are probably references to naval ships, such as the Intrepid, which ultimately retrieved the capsule and crew.

Is that correct — does "Big Box" refer to the recovery vehicles? What's the origin of the name?

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The key letters "RA" adjacent to the lines make it clear that these are two recovery aircraft.

The transcript is also shown here.

I do not know the origin of the name, but I assume the aircraft are the helicopters that came from the carrier USS Intrepid.

picture of helicopter during a recovery mission

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  • $\begingroup$ spacelog.org ... Well, there goes my productivity for the day... Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Michael Rog May 4 '16 at 14:33

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