NASA's Second Group

Pilot Astronauts

Neil Armstrong   Frank Borman   Pete Conrad
Jim Lovell   James McDivitt   Elliott See
Tom Stafford   Ed White   John Young

In September of 1962, NASA chose its second group of nine astronauts:

Neil A. Armstrong, Frank Borman, Charles 'Pete' Conrad, Jr, James A. Lovell, Jr,
James A. McDivitt, Elliot M. See, Thomas J. Stafford, Edward H. White II, and John W.Young

Project Gemini

Click on the patch to read more abut Project Gemini

The second leg of the journey to the moon was the Gemini program. They named it for the third sign of the zodiac, the twins. During the Gemini program, astronauts lived and worked in space for long periods. They were also able to connect one spacecraft with another while in orbit. The astronauts also performed orbital maneuvers. Gemini's spacecraft had twice the amount of cabin space than its predecessor for the two-man crew of the Gemini missions. It needed a more powerful rocket, a Titan booster, for launching.

For the docking of two vehicles in space, one vehicle called the Agena, was sent into a near-circular orbit first. Then NASA launched the Gemini capsule into orbit at an altitude lower than the Agena, and at a greater speed. The astronauts fired a rocket to increase its speed even further and to put it into an identical orbit with the Agena. When the two vehicles were between ten and one-hundred feet apart, the astronauts linked the two together. They positioned the nose of the capsule into the slot in the Agena.

For walking in space, the Gemini astronauts were attached to the spacecraft with a safety line. A control box was connected to the astronaut's spacesuit to allow him to control his movements in space and to maintain altitude control. Zero gravity in space prevented the astronaut from falling.

Astronauts for Project Gemini could be as tall as six feet, but no older than thirty-five years of age. The men had to have either one thousand hours of jet time to their credit, or graduated from an Armed Forces Test Pilot School.

These men met all of the necessary qualifications for Project Gemini. Some of these astronauts participated in both the Gemini and Apollo Programs. Click on their photos for individual bios and information on their spaceflights.

Neil Armstrong  Frank Borman  Pete Conrad
Jim Lovell  James McDivitt  Elliott See
Tom Stafford  Ed White  John Young

Read my Space Education Articles

Go on to read about:

NASA's Third Group of Astronauts
Another Group is Needed

Return to: The Original Seven

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