Collection Item Summary:
Astronauts Frank Borman and James Lovell were launched into orbit aboard this spacecraft, Gemini VII, on December 4, 1965. Their primary mission was to show that humans could live in weightlessness for 14 days, a record that would stand until 1970. Gemini VII also served as the target vehicle for Gemini VI-A, piloted by Walter Schirra and Thomas Stafford, who carried out the world's first space rendezvous on December 15. These two achievements were critical steps on the road to the Apollo Moon landing.
This module is the only part of Gemini that returned to earth. Behind the heat shield was an adapter section containing propellants for the maneuvering thrusters, fuel cells for electric power, and retrorockets. It was jettisoned before reentry. The nose section was discarded during parachute deployment. In 1968 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration gave Gemini VII to the Smithsonian.
Collection Item Long Description:
National Air and Space Museum
Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Structure: Titanium; cylindrical section: beryllium alloy; conical section: Rene 41 (nickel-steel alloy); heat shield: silicone elastomer
Overall: 10 ft. 10 in. tall x 7 ft. 5 in. wide, 3375 lb. (330.2 x 226.1cm, 1530.9kg)
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Country of Origin
United States of America