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July 18-21, 1966
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Gemini X Cape Preparations Keeping to Launch ScheduleManned Spacecraft Center Space News Roundup - July 8, 1966Pre-launch preparations for the Gemini X mission, scheduled for no earlier than July 18, were proceeding on schedule at Roundup press time. Gemini X was hard-mated to the launch vehicle Tuesday and the Gemini X Agena rendezvous vehicle last Friday was mated to the Atlas Standard Launch Vehicle.
Spacecraft Xl and its target docking adapter was to be delivered to Kennedy Space Center Wednesday from McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, St. Louis. By the end of next week, it is anticipated that all Gemini Xl hardware will be at the Cape.
Prime and backup crews for the Gemini X mission last Saturday "met the press" in the MSC News Center.
"We plan extensive use of the Agena X's propulsion system to close on the Vlll Agena for the passive rendezvous," said prime command pilot John Young. "We will conduct in-orbit tests of several new spacecraft systems including the super Orbit Attitude and Maneuvering System with over 900 pounds of propellant. And we have replumbed fuel cells, and a cryogenic oxygen system which furnishes both the fuel cell and the breathing oxygen from the same tank," Young continued. "We will be evaluating improved and additional math flows provided by the auxiliary tape memory.
"We have an improved inertial guidance ascent program and an onboard navigation program. With the latter, we intend to investigate the feasibility of calculating maneuvers aboard the spacecraft . . . We have taken pains to develop the mission plan with flexibility in mind for both pre-flight and real-time planning. Due to the untiring efforts of many people, the crew training for the total mission has been excellent, and no part of the mission has been neglected training-wise."
Prime pilot Michael Collins described the Gemini X extravehicular activity. "There are two periods of EVA; the first one is simply opening the hatch and standing up for approximately one hour . . . The main purpose of this EVA is to conduct experiments S-13 and MSC-8. S-13 is an experiment which involves taking the ultraviolet signatures of various star fields. MSC-8 is an experiment involving the color fidelity in our photolab's ability to reproduce those colors which we truly see in space. By taking pictures of a color plate before flight, during stand-up EVA and again postflight for analysis, a comparison of the three sets of photographs will then enable the photo lab to determinate accurately the particular photographic processes through which they must go to process the film which comes back from the moon and to give better color fidelity on some of our later earth orbital missions."
"The second EVA," said Collins, "begins about 48 hours after liftoff...It is primarily a day operation. After getting the sequence camera set up, I'll go back to the adapter section and plug into a nitrogen line which enables me to fire cold nitrogen gas through a hand-held maneuvering unit which I'll have. This is a unit similar to the one that Ed White used on Spacecraft IV. I'll have a limitless supply of propellant whereas Ed was limited to a very short duration."
"I'll proceed over to the Gemini VIII Agena and retrieve Experiment S-10 which, of course, has been in orbit now for several months. This is a micro-meteorite experiment. Following that, I'll push off again from the spacecraft and do an evaluation of the hand-held maneuvering device. Following that, John will very kindly come over with the spacecraft and retrieve me; and having demonstrated that capability, we'll proceed into an analysis of tether dynamics which will be nothing more than pushing off from the spacecraft a second time, proceeding out to near the end of our 50-foot tether and attempting to return to the spacecraft by pulling in on the tether alone without any help from the gun to see what difficulties might arise in returning to the spacecraft by pulling in on the end of a long rope."
Collins continued by describing how the spacecraft hatch would be depressurized a third time to permit jettisoning of the umbilical and other EVA gear to keep the cockpit from becoming too crowded.
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