On this day in history, 1965, Gemini 3 was launched on a Titan II GLV rocket from Complex 19 at Cape Canaveral. It was the first manned Earth-orbiting mission in NASA’s Gemini program. Astronauts Virgil “Gus” Grissom and John Young piloted the spacecraft, with the aim of testing the crewed qualifications of the Gemini spacecraft.
The secondary aims included the evaluation of the flight crew equipment and effects of low level launch vehicle oscillations (POGO) on the crew, conducting three experiments, and taking photos from Earth’s orbit.
Gemini 3 was inserted into orbit 5 minutes and 54 seconds after launch, and the duration of the trip was approximately 88.4 minutes. Splashdown occurred in the Atlantic Ocean close to the Grand Turk Island.
The only issue that took place during the mission was when Young revealed that he had smuggled a contraband corned beef sandwich in a pocket of his spacesuit. Each astronaut took a few bites of the sandwich and stored it away before crumbs could infest the spacecraft’s electronics. Both men were reprimanded upon their return to Earth.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense