Gemini 8: NASA's First Space Docking in Pictures

Meet the Gemini 8 Crews


On March 16, 1966, NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Dave Scott performed the first space docking on the Gemini 8 mission. See photos from that historic spaceflight here!

This Nov. 4, 1965 official NASA portrait presents both the Gemini 8 prime and backup crews. Sitting in the front, from left to right, are the prime crewmembers astronauts David R. Scott and Neil A. Armstrong. Astronauts Richard F. Gordon, Jr., and Charles Conrad, Jr., standing from left to right, are the backup crew.

Gemini 8 Apparel


On Jan. 18, 1966, a new spacesuit and extravehicular equipment suit, planned for use by astronaut David R. Scott, was donned by test subject Fred Spress of the Crew Systems Division. The system includes a chestpack with a life support system, a backpack with a support system and a gold-plated visor on the helmet.

A Moment to Float


During a Jan. 5, 1966 training at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, TX, astronaut David R. Scott participates in water egress training. Assisting in the training inside building 260A, an MSC swimmer assists while Scott rests in a floatation device.

New Devices for a New Era


This official NASA photo presents the Hand Held Maneuvering Unit. The HHMU will be used by astronaut David R. Scott during the Gemini 8 extravehicular activity. The tool works by releasing high-pressure cold gas through the nozzles, producing the controlled thrust required for the zero-gravity environment.

EVA Practice


On Feb. 1, 1966, astronaut David R. Scott practices for the upcoming Gemini 8 EVA maneuvering around the air bearing floor in the MSC with the HHMU.

Zero-Gravity and HHMU


Aboard a C-135 Air Force plane, known as a Vomit Comet, astronaut David R. Scott uses the HHMU while in a weightless state. Scott is preparing for the upcoming EVA planned for during the Gemini 8 mission.

Improving with Practice


During another training session aboard the C-135 Air Force plane, astronaut David R. Scott wears his full spacesuit and uses the HHMU while in a weightless state.

Perfecting Balance


At the Pyrotechnic Installation Building on Kennedy Space Center's Merritt Island, astronaut Neil A. Armstrong participates in weight and balance tests.

The Long Walk


On Mar. 16, 1966, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott, the prime crew for the Gemini 8 mission, walk up the Pad 19 ramp during the mission's prelaunch countdown.

Dual Launches


Also on Mar. 16, 1966, an Atlas rocket lifts off with an Agena Target Docking Vehicle. This launch took place just before the Gemini 8 mission launch from the nearby Launch Complex 14.

Watchful Eyes


At Mission Control, NASA personnel watch the Gemini 8 launch.

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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.