NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gemini 6A launch. Officially known as Gemini VI-A, this spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, on 15 December 1965. Inside were US astronauts Wally Schirra (1923-2007, command pilot), and Thomas Stafford (born 1930, pilot). The mission lasted just over a day, and succeeded in its aim of manoeuvring in Earth orbit to meet the Gemini 7 spacecraft, which had launched a few days earlier. Schirra had previously piloted the Mercury 8 spacecraft in 1962, and went on to command the Apollo 7 mission in 1968. He was the only man to fly in all three of the USA's first three space programs.
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