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Gemini 10

July 18-21, 1966

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Water egress training
Young during water egress training
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Young and Collins
Young and Collins by the suiting trailer
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pre-flight press conference
Major flight objectives of Gemini 10
The primary mission objective (achieved) was to rendezvous and dock with an Agena target vehicle. In fact, Gemini 10 was to rendezvous with two Agena targets: Agena 10 which had been placed in orbit shortly before the Gemini 10 launch, and the Agena target left in orbit by Gemini 8.

There were six secondary objectives:
  • conduct extravehicular activities (achieved)

  • conduct docking practice (not achieved)

  • to rendezvous and dock during the fourth revolution (achieved)

  • to use large propulsion systems in space by attempting dual rendezvous maneuvers using the Gemini Agena target vehicle's primary and secondary propulsion systems (achieved)

  • to conduct 14 experiments (partly achieved)

  • to conduct the following systems evaluations:
    • Gemini Agena target vehicle maneuvers
    • static discharge monitoring
    • post-docked spacecraft-Agena target vehicle maneuvers
    • parking the Agena target vehicle

The docking practice flight objective was not achieved because too much fuel had been expended during the rendezvous with the Agena. According to Deke Slayton, the excessive use of fuel was not Young's fault. A mistake in the loading of the computers initial guidance program caused slightly inaccurate readings as to the location of the spacecraft.
Gemini stamp

"The primary rendezvous was characterized, I think, by a large out-of-plane error. When we realized this was taking place, we could no longer let orbital mechanics work for us...We were working for it. We had to use what I call a brute force method of rendezvous, and it takes a lot of fuel."
John Young, during awards ceremony, August 1, 1966


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