Gemini 10: NASA's Epic 1st Double Rendezvous Mission in Photos

The Ground Team


At NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston (from left to right): Gemini 10 mission director William Schneider, prime flight director Glynn Lunney, flight operations director Christopher C. Kraft Jr., and Gemini program office manager Charles Mathews

'Shooting' Stars


On day 2 of their flight (July 19, 1966), Michael Collins performed a stand-up EVA while docked to the Agena spacecraft. He stood inside the open hatch and took pictures of stars in the Carina-Vela region of the southern Milky Way. The Gemini 10 astronauts used a 70-mm Maurer camera with a f/3.3 focal length lens. The ultraviolet spectra of the stars extends from 2,200 angstroms to around 4,000 angstroms and the exposure was around 20-seconds.



On July 21, 1966, the Gemini 10 spacecraft splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the prime recovery ship, the U.S.S. Guadalcanal, bringing the three-day spaceflight mission to a successful conclusion.

Leaving the Vessel


Astronaut John Young is raised out of the water to a recovery helicopter after the splashdown. A U.S. Navy frogman team assists crew and craft recovery operations.

Recovery Operations Begin


As the Gemini 10 spacecraft floats in the Atlantic Ocean after a successful spaceflight and splashdown, U.S. Navy frogmen work to attach its flotation collar. The astronauts, John Young and Michael Collins, wait inside the craft for the recovery helicopter from the U.S.S. Guadalcanal, the recovery ship.

Preparing for the Real Thing


Before Gemini 10 launched, the astronauts had to practice for the splashdown as well. Here, command pilot John Young is lifted up to a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter during an exit training exercise in the Gulf of Mexico.

Time to Recover the Craft


On July 21, 1966, crewmembers prepare the Gemini 10 spacecraft to be raised onto the deck of the U.S.S. Guadalcanal, the prime recovery ship for the mission.



Senior NASA Public Affairs Officer Ben James stands behind astronaut John Young, greeting Young and astronaut Michael Collins along with Manned Spacecraft Center Landing and Recovery Division John C. Stonesifer and other crewmembers.

A Warm Welcome


Moments after splashdown and recovery by helicopter, the Gemini 10 spaceflight prime crew, were on live radio and television during welcome aboard ceremonies on the USS Guadalcanal deck. After the interview, the prime crew underwent post-flight medical and technical debriefings.

More FIrsts


As part of a new program permitting minors to witness the recovery process with their Naval fathers or close relatives, 12-year-old Billy Doyle of Virgina Beach shakes hands with astronaut Michael Collins aboard the U.S.S. Guadalcanal. Gemini 10 command pilot John Young stands to the right of the boy. Billy represented 41 youngsters allowed at the event.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.