Country of Origin: United States of America
Overall: 12 in. long x 3 in. diameter (30.48 x 7.62cm)
Overall, metal, probably stainless steel; nozzle, phenolic
This is a 25-pound thrust Gemini Orbital Attitude Maneuvering System (OAMS) thruster. OAMS thrusters performed four functions: (1) provided the necessary thrust for the Gemini spacecraft to rendezvous with the Agena target vehicle; (2) controlled the spacecraft in orbit; (3), enabled the separation of the Gemini from the second stage Titan launch vehicle and inserted it into orbit; and (4), provided abort capability. For these functions, the OAMS included 25-pound thrust thrusters to control the spacecraft in its pitch, yaw, and roll axes. OAMS thrusters used hypergolic (self-igniting) propellants, making the system simple and reliable and eliminating the need for an igniter.
In February 1962, North American Aviation's Rocketdyne Division began development of the OAMS, with all testing completed in August 1965. OAMS thrusters were used successfully on all Gemini flights up to the completion of the program in 1966.
The McDonnell Douglas Corporation gave this OAMS thruster to the Smithsonian Institution in 1973.
Gift of the McDonnell Douglas Corporation