On This Day In Space: Nov. 11, 1966: Gemini 12 launches Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell into orbit (Image Credit: Space.com)
On Nov. 11, 1966, the Gemini 12 mission launched into orbit.
Gemini 12 was the last mission of the Gemini program. It had two astronauts on board: Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin. NASA wanted to send humans to the moon. But first, it needed to make sure crews had the right skills, like docking vehicles in space and taking spacewalks.
Gemini 12 also successfully docked to an unpiloted Agena booster that launched the same day. The astronauts returned to Earth after four days in space. Both Aldrin and Lovell went on to join the Apollo program. Aldrin became the second person to walk on the moon during Apollo 11, and Lovell became the commander of Apollo 13.
Before Gemini 12, astronauts struggled with spacewalks because there weren’t enough handholds on their spacecraft. NASA made some spacewalk changes for Gemini 12. Buzz Aldrin did three spacewalks and spent more than five hours working in space with no major problems.
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