Gemini 5: Inside NASA's First 8-Day Space Mission of 1965

Gemini 5, NASA's Long Mission


NASA's Gemini 5 mission launched astronauts Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad on a record-breaking mission (for the time) on Aug. 21, 1965. See photos from the historic mission here! Here, a Titan II rocket launches the Gemini 5 mission on its way.

The Men


This official NASA image presents the prime crew for the Gemini-Titan 5 mission — astronaut Charles Conrad, Jr., pilot and L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., command pilot.

Rendezvous Rehearsal


In August of 1965, an artist created this concept art superimposing an image of the Rendezvous Evaluation Pod (REP) onto Earth-sky photo from Gemini-4. The Gemini spacecraft approaches the REP, which will be utilized by the Gemini-5 crew for rendezvous technique practice.

Whatcha Doin' Up There


This chart lays out some of the equipment the Gemini-4 crew will use to perform several experiments while in space.

Checking In


During the Gemini-5 and 6 missions, astronauts will use the In-flight Vision Tester one every 24 hours by holding the bite board between their teeth and looking into the eye piece. The tool will check for visual acuity in the astronauts during their time off Earth.

Early Training


Astronaut Charles Conrad, Jr., takes part in water survival school with his training group. Conrad was a member of NASA's second astronaut class.

Back on Earth


After successfully completing the Gemini-5 mission on August 29, 1965, astronaut and Gemini 5 command pilot L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., undergoes a preliminary physical by Dr. Louis P. Ballenberger, Captain, USN.

Looking at All Angles


During an August 17, 1965, meeting, members of the medical team discuss x-rays with astronaut and Gemini-5 pilot Charles Conrad, Jr. (in the dark shirt). The team, based at Cape Kennedy, from left to right are Dr. Eugene Tubbs; astronaut Conrad; Dr. Charles A. Berry, chief, Center Medical Programs, Manned Spacecraft Center; and Dr. Robert Moser (seated), Medical Monitor with the U.S. Army.

Mission Control


On August 21, 1965, several NASA and McDonnell Aircraft Corporation personnel monitor the Gemini-5 progress shortly after launch. Astronaut Donald K. Slayton, assistant director for Flight Crew Operations for the Manned Spacecraft Center stands near astronaut Russell L. Schweickart, in the dark shirt, watching inside Mission Control.

Out and Up


As the countdown for the Gemini-5 launch ticks away, astronaut L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., leads the ways as he and astronaut Charles Conrad, Jr., step into the white room at Pad 19 in their spacesuits.

Waiting for the Water


A month before launch, astronaut Charles Conrad, Jr., pilot for the Gemini-5 mission, waits inside the Gemini Static Article 5 spacecraft awaiting water egress training. The neck dam that will prevent water from entering the suit during training sits atop his head.

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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.