27

This is more of a physics question, but here goes: Both the piloted spacecraft and the rendezvous target are objects each in their own orbit, even though they may be separated by minimal distance and have minimal relative velocity one to the other. An object in an ideal orbit always travels in a plane of fixed absolute orientation around the center of ...


22

Yes, visiting some of the famous (American) capsules is possible. Larger accumulations of capsules, excluding mock-ups and never-flown equipment, can be found at the following places in the US. National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian Institution), Washington, DC: Mercury-Redstone-3 [suborbital], "Freedom 7" (Shepard) Mercury-Atlas-6, "Friendship 7" (...


19

I haven't been able to find the Gemini rules online. But we can infer what they stated based on comments in the Gemini VIII post flight report. MCC-H made the decision for early mission termination. This decision was based on data which showed RCS propellant remaining in both rings to be less than half the amount loaded. Also, both rings of ...


17

Actually, the first manned one (Gemini 3) did have a name, "Molly Brown1". According to an article in Life Magazine, Oct 11, 1968, "Spacecraft Anonymous", upper NASA management became weary of arguing about spacecraft names with the crew after Grissom decided to name his capsule that. 1 "Molly Brown" was a reference to the movie and play "The Unsinkable ...


16

Supplemental to Organic Marble's answer: The Gemini no-names policy remained in effect through the early part of the Apollo program as well; the Apollo 7 and 8 spacecraft were nameless. The names returned when Apollo missions started flying two spacecraft independently; for the CSM-only missions, the call sign was simply "Apollo", but with a CSM and LM ...


16

Gemini 4 was the first unsuccessful try of a rendezvous. They sought at that times it should be possible to rendezvous from a short distance by simply thrusting towards the docking object. They had to learn it the hard way that this strategy works only on very, very short distances and in a short time. The circumference of a low Earth circular orbit with a ...


15

If I remember it correctly, Gene Kranz too confirmed in an interview, that this sentence was made up for the film. But he liked it so much that he used it as the title for his memoirs / autobiography.


14

The long comment chain below this answer highlights the mis-conception that NASA astronauts as a whole did not understand the orbital mechanics of docking. As this comment points out, the mechanics was well understood at the time, and at least one astronaut had written a thesis on the topic a few years earlier: ... Aldrins thesis about orbital ...


14

While a number of sources say the motivation for using ejection seats instead of LES is to save weight, a tower launch escape system can be jettisoned relatively early in flight, while ejection seats have to be carried all the way into orbit. Depending on the exact masses and time of tower jettison, this can be a wash or even slightly favorable to a tower ...


11

The Apollo 10 Command Module is on display at the Science Museum in London. (pic from beenthere-donethat.org.uk)


10

Yes, it was performed during Gemini 5 and 7. Here's the report. ... Ground observation sites were provided on the Gates Ranch, 40 miles north of Laredo, Texas, and on the Woodleigh Ranch, 90 miles south of Carnarvon, Australia. At the Texas site, 12 squares of plowed, graded and raked soil 2000 by 2000 feet were arranged in a matrix of 4 squares deep and ...


10

First, the Gemini IV maneuver was station-keeping, not rendezvous. Since the target was the just-separated upper stage, the two spacecraft were already rendezvoused, and point-and-burn would have worked if they'd done it properly. According to the Gemini IV mission report, the main causes of station-keeping failure were a mix of procedural mistakes and ...


9

“Booster Engine Cut Off” (though I like Big Engine better) There’s a handy NASA Glossary for things like this.


8

The simplest answer is that McDivitt thrusted the Gemini Spacecraft towards the Titan second stage in the same direction that both two objects were travelling. The two were separated far enough that it would take several minutes for Gemini to reach the Titan second stage with amount of thrust generated. If they were in a zero-g field with nothing else ...


8

Understanding of re-entry heating at the time led to that decision. Around the time that Mercury was being designed, there was a huge problem in the field of ballistic missile design (which had a sister problem in the field of spacecraft design): at hypersonic speeds the noses of ballistic missiles would melt. The original thinking at the time was that the ...


8

A more authoritative source than Wikipedia would be NASA's Gemini VII Mission Report. Starting on page 5-25, the anomaly is described, with the main effect being an uncontrolled roll peaking at somewhat less than one revolution per second rather than Wikipedia's yaw: Separation from the GATV [Agena] occurred at 7:15:12.3 GET with thrus­ters ll and 12 ...


8

A yaw thruster failed on in the Gemini's Orbital Attitude and Maneuvering System (OAMS) causing the attitude problems. Suspecting the Agena target to be at fault, they undocked, which made it worse because the spacecraft mass was now much less. The fix was to turn off the OAMS and switch to the redundant Re-entry Control System (RCS). This disabled the ...


7

They didn't have two functioning control rooms, so swapped off using the control room for the vehicle that was most active at the time, and used the distributed Mercury-style control for the less active vehicle, swapping back as required. The men in John Hodge's Flight Control Division found it "a hell of a great challenge and to a man they wanted to ...


7

Sorry, but it's impossible to explain this without referring to orbits. When you are in orbit, your altitude and your linear velocity (speed in the direction of the orbit) are inextricably linked: your linear velocity is proportional with the square root of the altitude (radius). As a result, any change in speed inevitably changes your orbit. The ...


7

The explanation in the frame of the body T that McDivitt was trying to approach is this. When he turned the thrust on, the spacecraft acquired velocity $\mathbf v$ towards the body. The Coriolis force $-2m\mathbf{\Omega}\times \mathbf v$ acted on the spacecraft, where $\mathbf \Omega$ is the angular velocity of the rotation of the body T in the orbit around ...


7

All of the Apollo Command Modules are on display as follows: Apollo 6 - Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta, Georgia Apollo 7 - Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas, Texas Apollo 8 - Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois Apollo 9 - San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego, California Apollo 10 - Science Museum, London, England ...


6

The rest of the current American crewed capsules. Mercury Capsules MR-3 Freedom 7 | JFK Library, Boston, MA MR-4 Liberty Bell 7 | Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center Hutchinson, Kansas MA-6 Friendship 7 | National Air and Space Museum Washington D.C. MA-7 Aurora 7 | Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, Illinois MA-8 Sigma 7 | Kennedy Space Center ...


5

A very detailed timeline is provided by NASA. Some of the key elements: Agena was in a 299 km circular orbit. Gemini launched 1 orbit later. Gemini's trajectory was such that it was in a 160x272 km orbit. This was well below Agena, and was thus moving in nodal point, although the effect was small. Several maneuvers were done on orbit. The first was to more ...


5

Most likely Telemetry. https://www.acronymfinder.com/Telemetry-(TM).html Although usually TLM is used. The "locking" terminology is explained here : What is carrier lock and bit lock?


4

Let my preface my answer with a quote from Wally Schirra after Gemini 6A: "Somebody said ... when you come to within three miles (5 km), you've rendezvoused. If anybody thinks they've pulled a rendezvous off at three miles (5 km), have fun! This is when we started doing our work. I don't think rendezvous is over until you are stopped – completely stopped – ...


4

Apollo had an onboard guidance computer, with its own clock. From Wikipedia: The AGC timing reference came from a 2.048 MHz crystal clock. The clock was divided by two to produce a four-phase 1.024 MHz clock which the AGC used to perform internal operations. The 1.024 MHz clock was also divided by two to produce a 512 kHz signal called the master ...


3

Here is a list of the flown uncrewed capsules: Mercury Capsules MR-1/MR-1A | NASA Ames Exploration Center, Mountain View, California MR-2 | California Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles, California MA-2 | Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, Texas MA-5 | North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Durham, North Carolina BJ-1 | Steven F. ...


3

Found it! Someone provided me with a contact. The website is Spacecraft Films.. They provide an extensive, historically accurate collection of space related films & DVDs. They do a lot of research on their films. Hence, the reason that I think it meets the standards of space stackexchange. Trying to find a small space-related site in a web search is ...


2

The Gemini Program manuals are not searchable via the NASA JSC History or Archive databases, but are currently housed in the National Archives and Records Administration, Fort Worth Regional Archive. The accession number is A-20-64-3. To access these documents, contact the Fort Worth Facility.


2

Partial answer on 2ndary question on cockpit instrumentation, like the programming manual for the onboard computers. See https://www.ibiblio.org/apollo/links.html#Gemini_spacecraft_computer The site also has source code for computer simulator. (more comment level answer, but don't have the rep).


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