Gemini 8: NASA's First Space Docking in Pictures

A Rendezvous in Space


About 210 feet from the

Time to Come Together


Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, command pilot, and David R. Scott, pilot, aboard the Gemini 8 spacecraft begin the rendezvous with the Agena Target Docking Vehicle in Earth's orbit.

Successful Meet Up


From the Gemini 8 spacecraft, the Agena Target Docking Vehicle panel flickers.

Learning Exit Strategies


Roughly a month before the Gemini 8 mission, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott (on the right) practice water egress from a boilerplate model of the spacecraft in the Gulf of Mexico. A trio of swimmers from the Manned Spacecraft Center assist the astronauts.

Mission End


In the Gemini 8 spacecraft, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, on the left, and David R. Scott wait, with the hatches open, for the recovery vessel, the USS Leonard F. Mason, to retrieve them. Three U.S. Air Force divers stand outside the craft on the yellow flotation collar. In the water the green marker dye is visible.

Welcome Aboard, Mateys


Still holding the Gemini 8 crew, the spacecraft is lifted aboard the destroy USS Leonard F. Mason. Due to problems with the Attitude and Maneuvering System, the mission was terminated early.

Water Egress Training


During a water exit training session in the Gulf of Mexico, astronaut Neil A. Armstrong enters a boilerplate model of the Gemini 8 spacecraft.

Smile for the Camera


The Gemini 8 prime crewmembers, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong (left), command pilot, and David R. Scott, pilot, pose near a radar dish outside the Kennedy Space Center in this official NASA photo.

Say Cheese


On the deck of the USS Leonard F. Mason, the Gemini 8 crew stands with three U.S. Air Force Para rescuers. From left to right, astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, A/2C Glenn M. Moore; astronaut David R. Scott are standing and kneeling are A/1c Eldridge M. Neal and S/Sgt Larry D. Huyett.

A Welcome Party


On Mar. 17, 1966, at the Naha, Okinawa, military installation, U.S. personnel prepare to welcome the Gemini 8 crewmembers.

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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.