One second after 11 o’clock Wednesday morning, April 8th 1964, the Titan II booster’s first-stage engine ignited. Four seconds later, the 156 ton vehicle lifted from the pad on that curiously lambent flame so distinctive of Titan II’s hypergolic propellants. Within moments, Gemini-Titan 1 vanished into the hot Florida sky, beyond reach of human senses but not electronic sensors. Telemetry data flowed back to mission controllers at the Cape, telling them that the launch was as nearly perfect as it looked.
“The primary objective of the first Gemini mission, was to prove that the Titan II was capable of launching the Gemini spacecraft into orbit within the tolerances imposed by manned space flight. The secondary objective was for the spacecraft to gather and report data.”
Sequence Compatibility Firing of the two stages of Gemini launch vehicle 1 at pad 19, Jan. 21,1964
Gemini-Titan 1 during Electronic-Electrical Interference Tests with the launch vehicle erector lowered
Gemini boilerplate 3A in the production area at the McDonnell plant before being shipped to Weber Aircraft
“Blue Gemini” was the tag name for an Air Force manned space flight program to develop rendezvous, docking, and transfer for military purposes, using Gemini-type spacecraft. The concept became firmer in June, when the Air Force Space Systems Division (SSD) began working on plans to use Gemini hardware as the first step in a new Air Force man-in-space program called Mods (Manned Orbital Development System), a kind of military space station with Gemini spacecraft as ferry vehicles…
On January 3 1962, “Gemini” became the official designation of the Mercury Mark II program. The name had been suggested by Alex Nagy of NASA Headquarters because the twin stars Castor and Pollux in constellation Gemini (the Twins) seemed to him to symbolize the program’s two-man crew, its rendezvous mission, and its relation to Mercury. Coincidentally, the astronomical symbol (II) for Gemini, the third constellation of the zodiac, corresponded neatly to the Mark II designation…