Hatch, Left, Gemini IV


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This left-hand hatch is part of the Gemini IV spacecraft, which flew a four-day mission in space, June 3-6, 1965. The astronauts were James McDivitt, command pilot and Edward White, pilot. McDivitt sat on the left side of the cockpit and this hatch covered his ejection seat. It was not opened in space, unlike White's, which he used to exit the spacecraft for the first American EVA (spacewalk).

Gemini hatches were designed to open extremely rapidly during an emergency ejection, the astronauts' escape method from a failing launch vehicle on the pad or in the lower parts of the Earth's atmosphere. Otherwise, the hatches were only open before launch, for the insertion of the astronauts, during a mission for an EVA by the pilot (right side only), or at the end of the mission.

NASA Manned Spacecraft Center gave this Gemini IV hatch to the Smithsonian in 1967.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration


titanium structure with Rene 41 (nickel-steel alloy) exterior shingles; double-paned glass window; interior fabric padding


Approximate: 1 ft. 3in. deep x 4 ft. 3in. long x 3 ft. 1in. wide (38.1 x 129.54 x 93.98cm)

Country of Origin

United States of America


SPACECRAFT-Manned-Parts & Structural Components

Inventory Number