On This Day in Space! April 8, 1964: 1st test flight of Gemini spacecraft, ,

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On April 8, 1964, NASA launched the first uncrewed test flight of the new Gemini spacecraft. This was the very first mission of Project Gemini, which would later send crews of two into orbit.

NASA flew a total of 12 Gemini missions, 10 of which had crews on board. For this first mission, NASA was testing the structural integrity of the crew capsule and the rocket. The launch vehicle was a modified version of the U.S. Air Force’s intercontinental ballistic missile Titan II. Known as the Titan II GLV, this rocket had never flown before.

NASA’s first Gemini-Titan II launches the first an uncrewed test flight of the Gemini spacecraft from what was then known as Cape Kennedy, Florida on April 8, 1964. (Image credit: NASA)

No major malfunctions occurred during the flight. The rocket actually overperformed and put the spacecraft into a slightly higher orbit than NASA had planned.

Catch up on our entire “On This Day In Space” series on YouTube with this playlist.

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