During the ten crewed missions of the Gemini program the astronauts documented their journey with a Hasselblad 500c medium format camera. These photographs capture the magic and wonder of their enterprise.

The Gemini space program started in 1961 between projects Mercury and Apollo. Its objective was to develop space travel techniques to support Apollo’s mission to land astronauts on the Moon. The missions aboard the cramped two-astronaut Gemini spacecraft spanned 1965 and 1966.

The raw digital scans of the flight film images were processed and made available by NASA/JSC/Arizona State University.

The Astronauts

James A. McDivitt aboard Gemini IV, the second manned spaceflight of the project Gemini, in June 1965. McDivitt and Edward White circled the Earth 66 times in four days, the first multi-day space flight by the United States. The highlight of the mission was the first space walk by an American during which White floated outside the spacecraft for approximately 20 minutes.

Sixteen astronauts flew on the ten crewed Gemini missions: Gordon Cooper, Gus Grissom, Walter Schirra, Neil Armstrong, Frank Borman, Pete Conrad, James Lovell, James McDivitt, Thomas Stafford, Edward White, John Young, Buzz Aldrin, Eugene Cernan, Michael Collins, Richard Gordon and David Scott.

Astronaut Ed White floats, attached to the spacecraft by a 25-ft. umbilical line and a 23-ft. tether line, both wrapped in gold tape. White carries a Hand-Helf Self Maneuvering Unit (HHSMU). The visor of the helmet is gold plated to protect him from the unfiltered rays of the sun. In the background, the islands of Hawaii. Gemini IV.
Charles Conrad inside Gemini V, which completed an eight day mission.
Lt. Col. Eugene A. Cernan inside Gemini IX. The Gemini IX mission lasted three days and 44 orbits. Gemini IX was able to rendezvous with the Augmented Target Docking Adapter, but was not able to dock as the payload shroud of the ATDA failed to separate completely. Cernan completed an EVA during the mission.
Lt. Col. Thomas P. Stafford inside Gemini IX. The Gemini IX capsule is now on display at the Kennedy Space center.

Major Michael Collins inside Gemini X. The mission rendezvoused and docked with an Agena docking target. Collins completed two EVA’s during the mission.
Lt. Cdr. Richard Gordon prepares for hatch open, used equipment jettison. Gemini XI. Gordon conducted two EVA’s during the mission. The Gemini XI capsule is now on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
Major Buzz Aldrin extra vehicular activity during Gemini XII. Aldrin conducted several EVA’s during the mission, including a record five and half hour spacewalk.
Major Buzz Aldrin, Gemini XII. The Gemini XII capsule is now on display at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

The Agena Target Vehicle

The Agena Target Vehicle was an unmanned vehicle launched separately from the Gemini spacecraft. It was used to practice docking maneuvers. The first successful docking occurred with Gemini VIII, although the mission was aborted shortly after due to a malfunctioning thruster on the Gemini spacecraft.

The Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA) viewed from Gemini IXa, with the improperly deployed launch shroud visible.
Agena viewed from Gemini X.

The Earth

Although Earth observation was not one of the objectives of the Gemini missions, the astronauts did not resist pointing their cameras at our planet and bring back some stunning images.

Indian Ocean west of Australia, looking to northeast. Altitude 1,231 km (665 nautical miles). Gemini XI.
Peru (Ayacucho-Arequipa-Ica-Huancavelica States) fog hugs coast. Gemini XI.
Gemini spacecraft docked to Agena, hatch open. Gemini XII.
Red Sea, coast of Saudi Arabia. Gemini V.
Nile River, upper Egypt, Sudan, Wadi Halfa area. Gemini IV.
Baja California, mouth of Colorado River, Sonora Desert. Gemini IV.

The Gemini Spacecraft

The pictures of Gemini VII below were captured from Gemini VIa. When the Gemini VI mission was scrubbed because its Agena target failed, Gemini VIa became the rendezvous target for Gemini VII instead. Both crafts flew side by side for over 5 hours at distances of 0.3 m to 90 m.