Collection Item Summary:
One of the primary objectives of NASA's Gemini program, which launched ten two-astronaut spacecraft into orbit in 1965-66, was to demonstrate rendezvous and docking between two spacecraft. The target vehicle for Gemini was the Agena D upper stage, launched by an Atlas booster, and fitted with a docking collar for the Gemini nose. On March 16, 1966, Gemini VIII astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott carried out the first successful rendezvous and docking in history with their Agena.
This artifact is a training aid used by the astronauts to practise docking on the ground. Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) at Ellington Air Force Base, near Houston, Texas, gave this docking collar to the Smithsonian in 1968.